AN EXPLOSION caused a terrified young family to flee their home in the middle of the night.
The blast at the detached four-bedroomed house caved in the roof, blew out windows and badly damaged a back room.
A neighbouring bungalow also suffered structural damage from the explosion, thought to have been caused by a faulty boiler, at 1am yesterday.
Neighbours of the £270,000 house in Cambrian Way, Haslingden, said they felt their homes shake as the explosion ripped through the building followed by cries for help from the family.
A couple and their young children, including a three-month-old baby, were trapped inside until neighbours came to their aid.
A fire had broken out in the house and the family were trying to escape in the dark as the power failed.
Isabella Kenyon, 16, said she woke her parents up after hearing the cries.
She said: “I had got up in the middle of the night and I was in the bathroom when I felt the room shake with the explosion.
“I could hear a woman calling for help and you could tell by her tone that she was very scared and urgently needed help.”
Isabella’s parents Marina and Paul went across to help their neighbours and heard shouting from behind their front door.
Marina said: “My husband had rushed over and they passed the keys out to him through the door.
“They were so shaken that they hadn’t been able to get the door open.
“We brought them in here to warm up and get them a drink. They said they had been unable to see where they were going in the house because it was pitch black with all the power out.
“The back room, which was destroyed, is the little boy’s room. It was sheer luck that he hadn’t been sleeping in there at the time.
“Thank goodness Isabella heard them.”
The Kenyons’ house was undamaged in the explosion.
First aid was given to an adult and a child at the scene before an ambulance took them to Royal Blackburn Hospital to be checked over.
The family-of-five is not thought to be seriously injured and a relative at the house yesterday said they were catching up with their sleep.
He said: “My sister has a very young baby so she is resting today after the drama last night.
“Everyone is OK and just feeling very lucky and very relieved this morning.”
The National Grid were called out to inspect the scene but did not find any gas leaks. A spokeswoman said workmen reported problems with the pressure of a boiler water valve.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, which is investigating the fire, said hose reels were used to put out the flames and the house was then made safe.