Families and a community in Blackburn have been left devastated after an explosion ripped through a terraced house.

Now, the Lancashire Telegraph is launching a fundraising campaign to financially support those affected by the blast – including neighbours forced out of their homes and nearby businesses.

Witnesses to Sunday evening’s blast said it looked like a ‘bomb had gone off’ as emergency crews were scrambled to the scene in London Road just after 7.30pm.

DONATE: Support the affected families here

The detonation was large enough to see a home crumble, with the walls and roof of the house coming down.

AS IT HAPPENED: Major incident as house collapses on London Road

Lancashire Telegraph: House explosion in Blackburn

Windows were blown out and debris could be seen strewn across the street.

Cars parked outside were damaged, while bricks and roof tiles were ripped off the neighbouring house.

Residents of the two properties on either side of the house where the explosion happened and the owner of a business close by, London Road Gents Hair Cutting, still cannot be given access due to concerns about the safety of the properties.

READ MORE: London Road barber ‘heartbroken’ after house explosion

Lancashire Telegraph: London Road Barbers has been forced to close

The Lancashire Telegraph has created an online fundraiser via GoFundMe in a bid to support those affected by the blast.

The Lancashire Telegraph's editor, Richard Duggan, said: "It's tough times like these where Lancashire folk really come into their own and show support for those who are in need.

“We've already seen a great amount of support for those impacted by the terrible explosion but we know there will be plenty more people who will want to do their bit - that's why we've launched this fundraiser in partnership with GoFundMe.

“We know this time of year is tough - and this year tougher than previous ones for numerous reasons - but we're sure local people will dig deep to help those impacted."

Fire crews had pulled a man from the rubble of the home before he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

The man, believed to be a plumber, is still in a stable condition in hospital.

The family who live in the rented house were out at the time of the incident. 

Councillor Phil Riley, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This is a really lovely gesture from the Lancashire Telegraph.  

“Since the incident happened, we’ve seen such strong community spirit with people doing whatever they can to support the residents directly affected – that kindness and compassion has been absolutely wonderful to see.  

“Council staff too, in particular our Housing Needs team, have given support to all the people who had to evacuate their homes. They continue to support the families from number 86 and the adjoining properties, to ensure that everyone has a safe place to live and can access relevant grant support. 

“Our building inspectors have also been up at the site on London Road every day since Monday morning to provide help, braving the elements, supporting the demolition work, salvaging what they can and helping evacuated residents to access their belongings. We realise how desperate residents must be to return to their homes but we obviously can’t let people back in until we are absolutely sure that it is safe.” 

The daughter of a family living next door previously told the Lancashire Telegraph how her parents were forced to flee their home, describing it as 'like an earthquake'. 

Speaking the day after the explosion, Femida Patel said: "My dad owns that property, which is damaged quite a lot.

Lancashire Telegraph: House explosion in BlackburnInset, Femida Patel (centre), Uwais Patel (left) and Cllr Hussain Akhtar (right) 

"My room has fallen off and come to the ground. My car is fully a write-off. 

"We’re just all in shock. We’ve got no clothes, nothing on us. We’ve got nowhere to stay. We don’t know what to do."

Visit the GoFundMe page here.