Portsmouth house explosion: Updates as investigation begins into cause of blaze which left two people seriously injured in North End

AN investigation is set to begin after a suspected gas explosion in Portsmouth left two people in hospital.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 10:11 am

Hampshire fire service said the ‘serious incident’ in Nelson Avenue, North End, Portsmouth, has seen crews from Cosham, Portchester, Southsea and Havant called in.

An air ambulance helicopter is in the sky above the incident.

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Crews at Nelson Avenue, North End, Portsmouth after a fire and explosion. Picture: Tom Cotterill

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Live updates - Portsmouth fire

Last updated: Saturday, 23 October, 2021, 14:49

  • A man and woman have been seriously injured in a house explosion
  • Around 20 firefighters called to Nelson Avenue, North End
  • Fire service declare ‘serious incident'
  • Police urging drivers and pedestrians to avoid the area

Here’s what the fire service believe caused the blast

This was the scene in Nelson Avenue this morning.

Fire service investigators and police visited the house for an inspection earlier today.

Here is what they believe caused the blast.

Evacuees allowed to pick up some belongings

Some evacuated neighbours home but the two houses either side are being let in to pick up some belongings before going to temporary accommodation.

Latest from the scene

The roof has caved in, front window completely blasted out leaving a hole in the front of the house - believed to have fallen down during the explosion.

Shattered glass still across the pavements, burnt wood and plastic in the front garden.

Some neighbours are still not allowed back into their homes

The scene in Nelson Avenue this morning. Picture: Emily Jessica Turner

Some residents are still not being allowed to return to their homes after an explosion in Portsmouth.

The houses closest to the site of the blast are still evacuated and are not allowed to go inside their buildings to see any damage that may have been caused.

Picture captures scale of damage to the house

Photo shared by Portchester Fire Station on Twitter.

Police are blocking Nelson Avenye off again

Nelson Avenue

Police are closing off Nelson Avenue once again this morning.

Residents came together to help yesterday

Several residents said that everyone came together to help the residents of the house at the centre of the explosion. Shaunie said: 'It's not the type of road where everyone knows everyone, but we all came together.'

‘It was absolute carnage'

Mum and daughter Chris and Shaunie Barstow were at home when the blast went off. Chris said: 'It's a miracle that both have survived.'

Shaunie, who has lived in the street her while life, added: 'We thought it was a car impact at first. It was absolute carnage - the sort of thing you see on your TV, not on your doorstep. At most, you might see motorbikes racing up the road or a drunken fist fight.'

Resident ‘shocked’ to see the damage

Nelson Avenue

Michael Knight, Nelson Avenue resident, holding a copy of today's The News with our report of the blast on the front page.

He said: 'I'm shocked to see the damage. Never saw anything like it. The massive bang shook the houses.'

All road closures have been lifted

The road closures in North End have been lifted, a police spokesman confirmed.

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