Shocked residents have spoken of the moment when a house on their street was destroyed in a huge explosion.
Jacqui Stedman, 59, was returning to her home two doors down from the incident. She said she did not know the man who had died but her thoughts were with his family and friends.
She told YorkMix:
I thought it might have been a bomb or an aeroplane coming down. I was just really shaky.
I’m now meant to be meeting the insurance company to board up my home and make it secure. It is really sad what has happened.
The incident, thought to be a gas explosion, was reported to North Yorkshire Police at 7.30am today. Residents reported hearing loud bangs.
Zafar Shah, 51, who also lives on the same road, told YorkMix:
I looked here and there and everything was fine in my house. I then came out and saw a few more people from the street and we saw smoke, and it was coming from that house, and when we looked at it was a sort of ripple.
Our thoughts were if someone was in the house or not, but we couldn’t see anything because the smoke was coming up. The two people from across the street came here and they were devastated.
It was a big, big bang and I still feel it ringing in my ears.
It was a big, big bang and I still feel it ringing in my ears
Sarah Grand, 39, who also lives on the same road, said:
I then heard it was the house a few doors down and I was in complete and utter shock.
That is all you feel: shocked.
Ground Commander Steve Breen from North Yorkshire Police said:
We are with members of the family and helping them at this difficult time. Our thoughts are with them.
The scene has now been cleared and a few safety measures still need to be in place but in the very near future residents are going to be able to get back into their houses.
A number of houses have been quite badly damaged and we are working with structural engineers to work out how bad that damage is going to be.