40 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze in south London
One person is missing in the rubble of a destroyed building following an explosion on a residential street in south London.
Speaking at the scene Richard Welch, London Fire Brigade deputy assistant commissioner said four people had been rescued but firefighters are still searching for a “missing person”.
Three people have also suffered life-threatening injuries and are being treated in hospital, PA news reported.
Two neighbours, Kutoya Kukanda, 50, and Delroy Simms, 62, said they helped rescue three children from the rubble at around 7am, but they feared a girl aged around four or five was still trapped inside. They believed the children’s mother had been evacuated.
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Neighbours said the house next door had also been badly affected by the blast.
Some residents at the cordon said they had reported a strong gas smell two weeks ago, and others said they had been feeling dizzy and sick over the last two days.
The case of the fire is still not confirmed, London Fire Brigade said.
Firefighters were called to the fire and explosion at a house on Galpin’s Road, Croydon shortly after 7am on Monday.
Images showed rubble from a collapsed terraced property, leaving a gap in a row of houses in Thornton Heath on Monday morning. A neighbour told local media it was “the biggest bang you’ll ever hear”.
Dozens of worried residents gathered beside a police cordon after the explosion destroyed at least one home.
People who had been evacuated from Galpin’s Road in their pyjamas told the PA news agency their windows had shattered early on Monday morning from the force of the explosion.
“I went down the road to see what happened this morning and the whole house is gone, people living nearby said all their windows shook,” the Thornton Heath local told MyLondon.
The fire brigade said one terraced house collapsed following the explosion, with neighbouring properties also damaged.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire and the explosion on the street in Thornton Heath.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said in a statement: “Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters have been called to a fire and explosion on Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath.
“A terraced house has collapsed following an explosion and neighbouring properties have also been damaged. Three people have been rescued.
“The Brigade’s 999 Control Officers have taken 14 calls to the incident,” the spokesperson continued.
“The Brigade was called at 7.08am. Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations are at the scene.”