Family miraculously survive gas explosion that left house obliterated

A FAMILY miraculously survived a gas explosion that left a house obliterated. 

Darren Cornish, 48, was with parents Alan and Josie last night when the property collapsed around them – but the trio somehow made it out alive. 

Emergency services rushed to the house in Bude, Cornwall shortly after 9pm last night amid fears people were trapped inside the rubble.

Darren said: "The house is ready to fall to bits. It was really scary. I saw my life flash before my eyes.

"I thought I was dead, I really thought I had died."

Photos released by the fire service showed bricks and mortar laying around the garden as the top of the house dangled perilously in the air.

Other terrifying images show one of the upper rooms hanging precariously in mid-air, leaving a double bed exposed to the street. 

Witnesses described hearing a loud bang and a strong smell of gas in the area. 


Darren, a paramedic, today revealed his elderly parents had "lost everything" as the home was not insured.

He said he feared there was a gas leak so went to investigate with his mum, who turned on the cooker to try and show it was working correctly.

Darren said: "Me and my dad kept falling asleep which I thought was odd, then I thought I could smell gas so I asked if the cooker was working.

"I went to check and my mum came with me. It was all off and mum went to show me that the oven was working OK and before I could stop her she lit the oven and bang – up it went."

Darren said the force of the blast was "like a bomb had gone off".

He continued: "I could hear mum screaming.

"I grabbed her and took her outside. Dad was still in the front room sitting in his chair watching the TV – although the television had gone off by this point.

"I lifted mum over the rubble and one of my mates who lived opposite came over to help get them out."

Mum Josie was taken to hospital to be checked, and dad Alan, who recently had a heart attack, was thoroughly examined by paramedics – but neither had sustained serious injuries.

Alan and Josie, who have three children and six grandchildren, didn't have any home insurance on their property and many of their possessions were destroyed.

Darren added: "We've been nagging them to get insurance for years but they're old school, never had a mortgage and didn't have insurance."

I thought I was dead, I really thought I had died

A Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “At 21:04 a 999 call was received reporting an explosion at a domestic property and a strong smell of gas in the area, it was also reported that there were possibly two casualties trapped in the building with three walking wounded.

“Appliances from Bude and Holsworthy were mobilised to the scene along with specialist shoring equipment to help stabilise the two storey semi-detached house.

“On crews arrival they confirmed that there were no casualties trapped within the damaged structure and the incident was sectorised. 

“Crews remained on scene until the property had been assessed by a structural surveyor. The incident was left in the hands of police.”

Glenn Thorne, Wales & West Utilities Gas Emergency Service Manager for Bude said: "We were called to reports of an explosion at a property and immediately sent a team of engineers to the scene.

"On arrival we found that the property had been damaged and emergency services were in control of the scene.

"We worked with the emergency services to make the area safe and carried out all necessary gas safety checks. 

They added: “We have found no evidence of a mains gas leak in the area and the property itself was not connected to our gas network.”

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