A gas explosion has ripped through a Black Country home which shattered windows and blew out doors of a Victorian terrace house.
Fire crews, an urban search and rescue team, a rapid response vehicle and several paramedics were all called to Edgbaston Road, in Cape Hill, Smethwick, just after 4.50pm on Monday.
Initially emergency services feared three people - two women and a man - were inside the end of terrace house, that had been converted into three flats, but they were later contacted at an airport.
Saquib Hussain, who lives ten doors away, had been playing with his young nephew in the garden when the explosion happened.
The 18-year-old languages student said: “I heard a big bang first, then saw the windows blown out across the street, then it was just flames but I could still hear gas leaking, and everybody was just running away up the street.
“To be honest it looked like something out of a film, with the door and windows all blown out.”
Bill Gough, spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service, said: “A severe fire and explosion has practically demolished the rear of the premises, which was a three storey Victorian property converted into three flats.
“Contact has been made with three people that live there and they’re currently at an airport.
“However it’s still not clear whether this should be treated as a crime.”
Steve Wheaton, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s head of specialist operations, said: “We deployed members of our Urban Search and Rescue team to the incident in case they were required to go inside the property to search for victims; thankfully they were not required.”