Portsmouth house explosion: Cause of blast 'unknown' says fire chief as probe is launched

INVESTIGATORS will today be sifting through the rubble of the home destroyed by a suspected gas explosion to try and find what caused the blast.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 4:45 am
Group manager Paul Reddish, incident commander at the Nelson Avenue house explosion incident pictured at the cordon site of the blast. Photo: Tom Cotterill

Firefighters last night had no answers as to what caused the huge explosion at the property in Nelson Avenue, North End yesterday afternoon.

The blast was so powerful it collapsed the rear of the property, obliterating walls and windows and blowing doors off their hinges.

It also left two people, a man and a woman, seriously injured and in need of hospital treatment.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Crews at Nelson Avenue, North End, Portsmouth after the explosion. Picture: Tom Cotterill

Speaking to The News from outside the cordon of Nelson Avenue last night, group manager Paul Reddish, incident commander, said the damage was so severe, that firefighters had been unable to enter the home safely yet.

Read More

Read More
Portsmouth house explosion: Terrified neighbours described moment the homes 'sho...

He added: ‘At this stage we’re unable to determine exactly where the explosion was, not being able to get into the property concerned.

‘At this stage the cause of the explosion is unknown and the exact location of that explosion is also unknown.’

Fire investigators are expected to arrive this morning to begin their probe into the disaster.

Speaking of when crews first arrived at the scene, Mr Reddish said: ‘On arrival our crews found a well-established fire. There had been signs of an explosion. Two casualties, found outside of the property, were handed over to our colleagues at the ambulance service.

‘Quickly our crews got to work to extinguish that fire and did a very good job at not just extinguishing it but preventing it from spreading to the neighbouring properties.

‘There has been extensive damage to the property; windows at the front have been blown out and there’s also been a collapse of a wall at the rear of the property.’

He added engineers were assessing ‘structural damage’ to neighbouring properties, which had been evacuated.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, with 70 per cent fewer adverts for less than 20p a day.