Fire service update on gas blast at Oxton residence

Firefighters were last night in attendance in Oxton, following a serious house fire yesterday, Wednesday 6 January.

Crews were alerted to the fire on Mather Road at 4.22pm, following reports of an explosion, and arrived on scene at 4.30pm. Three fire engines attended, as well as the search and rescue appliance. 

On arrival crews found the terraced property to be well alight.

The occupants of the property were outside when crews arrived, having been rescued by two builders who had been working nearby. They were assessed at the scene and two people were taken to hospital. 

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the house with a hose reel jet, however had to withdraw from the property due to the structural integrity of the building. Firefighting continued externally.

Group Manager Mark Thomas said: “Crews from Birkenhead and Wallasey attended a terraced house which was on fire following reports of an explosion. On arrival, firefighters were met with a well-developed fire issuing from all windows of the property and three casualties were located in the street outside. There was significant damage to the property and neighbours were reporting there had been an explosion.”

It is believed two people who had been working on a nearby house witnessed the incident and rescued one person from inside the house involved.

Credit: Alexandra Soar

An eyewitness, Alexandra Soar, told that she saw smoke from quite a distance away whilst shopping. “I wasn’t sure where it was coming from but it [the smoke] seemed pretty bad.

“As I was going down Euston Grove I noticed a big crowd of people, two fire engines and several police cars, the smoke was billowing from every window of the house.

“I didn’t stop long because I didn’t want to get in the way but as I got further away I noticed the smoke had died down so assume they had got it under control.”

The ground floor of the property has been severely damaged by the incident. The resulting fire damage is significant throughout the remainder of the property.

MFRS’ search and rescue team have worked alongside Wirral Council building inspectors to shore up the building, which has now been deemed safe to enter. Firefighters are now carrying out damping down operations.

Cordons were been put in place on Mather Road and neighbours either side of the affected property were evacuated as a precaution. They have since been allowed to return to their homes.

A joint investigation between MFRS and Merseyside Police is now underway to establish the exact cause of the incident.