Explosion In Edensor Road Injures Pensioner
Investigation continues into the cause of the fire and explosion
Structural engineers are still working at the scene of the New Year's Eve explosion and fire in a flat in Edensor Road. An elderly woman is still in hospital following the incident and a number of residents have been unable to return home as investigators attempt to discover the cause of the explosion.
One neighbour living two doors away on the ground floor said she felt she had a lucky escape. A outdoor glass partition was smashed and there was damage to her ceiling but she was otherwise unhurt. Local people described hearing a loud bang at around 3 p.m. on New Year's Eve and flames and smoke pouring out of the ground-floor flat.
The scene of the explosion and fire
Around forty people were evacuated to the nearby Chiswick Swimming Pool which was used as an emergency rest centre as thirty firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control at the block of flats. Staff at the pool gave them hot drinks and helped look after them as emergency accommodation was found .
A courier who was making a delivery to a flat in the area described hearing a blast. He told BBC News that he saw flames coming from one of the flats. He said there had been two mini explosions. A ladder leaning up against the wall near where the flames were coming from was used to get a girl and an older woman to safety before the fire services arrived, he said.
Another eyewitness described hearing an explosion that sounded "like a bomb going off".
Around 40 residents were evacuated from neighbouring properties. A temporary rest centre was opened at New Chiswick Pool, and most residents were able to return to their homes later that evening. Most of those who were unable to return home were able to stay with family and friends, and the council provided temporary accommodation to one family.
Cllr Steve Curran, who visited the scene , said: “We are working with the emergency services to find out the cause of the explosion, and I have asked Hounslow Homes to review fire safety arrangements for elderly residents to make sure we are doing enough to keep residents safe.”
Assessors are investigating the cause of the fire and structural engineers have visited the scene. One of the theories under investigation is that gas may have been responsible for the explosion.
The London Fire Brigade reported later that afternoon : "The fire in Chiswick is under control. A woman has been taken to hospital. The cause of the fire and possible explosion is under investigation."
The E3 bus which terminates in Edensor Road was diverted to terminate on Burlington Lane for some time after the incident but the road was later reopened.