A GAS explosion caused severe damage to a house, blowing off its kitchen roof.

The blast at 12.30pm yesterday in Burnley Road, Colne, also shook several nearby houses.

A man named locally as Chris Hughes was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital with minor injuries.

But his friend and neighbour Dave White, of Ivy Street, which backs onto the road, said he was lucky to have walked away unscathed from the blast.

The 35-year-old said: “I didn’t hear the explosion as I was out but I got back to see the damage and how he got away without more severe injuries I will never know.

“He was so lucky and I’m relieved he is OKokay.

“No-one will be living in that house anytime soon.”

Mr White said that Mr Hughes was the landlord of the property and the tenants were out of the house during yesterday's the explosion.

However, one of the tenants was actually working on the roof of another property with a colleague in Rosehill Road and heard the loud explosion.

His colleague David Phillips, of Laneshawbridge, said: “It was a pretty big bang and we were pretty shocked as we were obviously not expecting it at all.”

Four people were outside the property when firefighters arrived at the scene of the incident, the fire service said.

Catherine Husband, 53, of Ivy Street, said: “The bang was extremely loud and I went straight outside to see what was happening.

“The house did shake a bit and so did many others, I was quite concerned.”

Another resident of Ivy Street said: “It was a great big thud and my windows shook.

“I was instantly outside looking at what had happened because it really was loud.”

Two fire engines and crews from Nelson and Urban Search and Rescue Team firefighters from Chorley were at the incident.

Fire officer Matthew Chesney said: “We are currently investigating the cause of the explosion which caused the roof at the rear of the property to collapse.

“The man in the house got out safely but was taken to hospital to be checked over.”