A woman has died in a suspected gas explosion at a flat in north west London.
The victim was found inside the first floor of the two-storey residential building in Harrow around 4am on Sunday morning, after firefighters spent several hours putting out a blaze caused by the blast.
Fire crews rescued another woman, a man and a baby using an aerial ladder, as the flames spread at the home on Fulbeck Way.
“The first floor partially collapsed due to the force of the explosion,” said a spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade (LFB). “Sadly, one woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Firefighters using an aerial ladder platform and breathing apparatus rescued a man, woman, and a baby from the first floor.
“The woman and baby were assessed at the scene and taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews.”
Neighbour Rahman Alanezi saw the rescue. “Everyone was screaming that there was a baby inside and they took him out.”
He added that an “old lady” was missing after the blast.
The roof of the building collapsed as well as a large part of the first floor. Around 40 people were evacuated from neighbouring properties as a precaution.
Ten fire engines were sent to the scene, and around 70 firefighters battled the flames for around two-and-a-half hours. The LFB said the fire had been brought under control by about 3.30am.
The woman’s body was found shortly afterwards as firefighters searched the property, the Metropolitan Police said.
The LFB and the Met are probing the cause of the blast and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.
It follows a separate gas explosion at a house in Wimbledon on Friday evening, when the blast tore off the front of the terraced home. Two people were treated for shock.
Additional reporting by agencies
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