TWO brave men rushed into a burning bungalow to save an elderly neighbour following a massive gas explosion.

Emergency services, including firefighters, paramedics and police, were called to the home of the widow, aged in her 80s, in Hawthorne Road shortly before 6.30am.

The elderly lady was pulled to safety by a neighbour and his brother-in-law.

READ MORE: Pensioner rescued after gas explosion destroys Clacton home

She was taken to hospital for treatment, but it is not believed that she suffered any serious injuries.

One witness said: "There was still a fire inside the property and debris was all over the place – there was a window in the road.

“There was a dreadful smell of gas, but they both just ran straight in saved the old girl.

“They had to pull wood and bricks out the way to grab her.

“She was standing on glass and had no slippers on - she must have just got out of bed.

“She was a bit disoriented, but otherwise appeared to be alright – she was incredibly lucky.”

The explosion left the roof of the house contorted and debris, including roof tiles and glass littered the front garden and street.


  • Emergency response - fire crews at the scene in Hawthorn Road, Clacton. Picture: Steve Brading.

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said four crews from Clacton, Weeley and Colchester were called to the scene, along with an aerial ladder platform and the Urban Search and Rescue team.

He added: "On arrival crews confirmed that a small fire was burning following a gas explosion within the property.

"An elderly lady, who was in the bungalow at the time of the incident, had been rescued by neighbours and was in the care of the ambulance service.

"Due to concerns regarding the structural integrity of the building, firefighters requested the support of Urban Search and Rescue teams.

"An aerial ladder platform was also called to allow crews to inspect the roof.

"Gas engineers were also requested to attend to investigate the source of gas.”

Firefighters left the scene at 8.54am in the care of the gas board and a structural engineer.

An investigation into what ignited the gas is due to take place this afternoon.

The East of England Ambulance Service also sent three ambulances and a rapid response vehicle to the scene.

A spokesman said the homeowner sustained injuries as a result of the explosion and was taken to Colchester General Hospital further treatment.