Cambridgeshire

Bungalow explosion in Leverington blamed on metal thieves

An explosion at a property in Cambridgeshire was "most likely" caused by a gas leak following pipe thefts, Cambridgeshire Fire Service has said.

Crews were called to the semi-detached bungalow in St Leonards Road, Leverington, at 01:05 GMT.

The property, which was found to be empty, was completely destroyed in the explosion.

Crews from Wisbech and March were able to prevent the fire spreading to the adjoining bungalow.

Mark Bennet-Tighe, station commander for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said damage to the property was too extensive to enable a full fire investigation.

'Obliterated house'

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed they had responded to reports that pipes had been stolen from the bungalow, which was undergoing renovation, over the weekend.

They concluded the explosion was "caused by a small gas leak" and are investigating the theft.

Insp Robin Sissons said: "This incident shows how dangerous stealing copper pipes from homes can be.

"This caused an explosion which obliterated the house and it is only sheer luck that the offender responsible, or the people living nearby, was not killed or seriously injured."

The fire service advised owners of vacant properties to ensure gas and electric supplies had been isolated.

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