Tyne & Wear

Woman escapes Gateshead home gas explosion

A great-grandmother has described how a gas explosion left her Gateshead home a "shambles".

Emergency services were called to Helmsdale Avenue, Felling, shortly before 2100 GMT on Thursday.

The house was badly damaged in the blast and neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution.

Cathie Burdess, who was in the kitchen when it happened, was not injured but was left extremely shaken. The 80-year-old is now staying with relatives.

Northern Gas Network engineers have been at the site since last night and are working with the Health and Safety Executive to find out the cause.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the explosion was at a two-storey end terrace house.

It said the force of the explosion blew off internal doors and caused the roof of the property to lift and resettle.

Window frames were blown out and there was damage to internal walls.

Mrs Burdess said: "Part of the cieling fell down, there's big cracks along the wall, my big cabinet fell over and all my things are broken.

"It's just a shambles."

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