Thornton Heath fire: Four-year-old girl feared missing after house explosion

·3-min read
Three hospitalised after house collapses in Thornton Heath - UkNewsinPictures /UkNewsinPictures
Three hospitalised after house collapses in Thornton Heath - UkNewsinPictures /UkNewsinPictures

A four-year-old girl is feared missing after a terraced home in south London collapsed following an explosion, according to neighbours.

Residents hailed the efforts of two "heroic" men who rescued three children from the destroyed house in Thornton Heath, south London, but fear a girl is still missing in the rubble.

A member of Merton Council at the scene also told the PA news agency he believed a four-year-old girl was still inside.

Several residents also raised concerns for a woman living in the house next door, which was damaged by the blast, after her husband was seen searching for her.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said their crews treated four patients at the scene on Galpin's Road on Thornton Heath, and one was discharged while the other three were taken to hospital.

Thornton Heath fire: Four-year-old girl missing and three in hospital after house explosion - Humphrey Nemar /Daily Mirror
Thornton Heath fire: Four-year-old girl missing and three in hospital after house explosion - Humphrey Nemar /Daily Mirror

Richard Welch, London Fire Brigade deputy assistant commissioner, has confirmed a search is under way to find a missing person after the explosion in Thornton Heath.

He told Sky News: "Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to a fire and explosion in Galpin's Road in Thornton Heath this morning.

"A terraced house has collapsed following an explosion and neighbouring properties have also been damaged. Four people have been rescued by the fire brigade.

"The brigade's 999 control officers have taken 14 calls to the incident. The LFB was called at 0708 this morning and we were on the scene, in attendance, within three minutes.

"Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations are still at the scene.

"Our urban search-and-rescue crews continue to search for one more missing person. The cause of the fire and explosion is not known at this time."

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said four people have been treated, with three patients being taken to hospital.

"We have treated four patients at an incident in Galpins Road, Thornton Heath," they said. "One was discharged on scene and three others were taken to hospital.

"We remain on scene with our emergency service colleagues."

The three people taken to hospital have potentially life-threatening injuries, according to PA.

Three hospitalised after house collapses in Thornton Heath - Dominic Lipinski /PA
Three hospitalised after house collapses in Thornton Heath - Dominic Lipinski /PA

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were sent to the scene where a terraced house has collapsed.

LFB said it had taken 13 calls to the incident since 7.08am.

Galpin's Road residents Delroy Simms, 62, and Kutoya Kukanda, 50, have been called "heroes" after they rescued three children from the house moments after the blast.

The pair said they helped rescue three children from the rubble at around 7am, but they feared a girl aged around four or five was still trapped inside. They believed the children's mother had been evacuated.

They said the house next door had also been badly affected by the blast.

Some residents at the cordon said they had reported a strong gas smell two weeks ago, and others said they had been feeling dizzy and sick over the last two days.

Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations were sent to the scene.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers are at the scene.

Three hospitalised after house collapses in Thornton Heath - Dominic Lipinski /PA
Three hospitalised after house collapses in Thornton Heath - Dominic Lipinski /PA

A statement on Twitter said: "Officers are at the scene in Galpin's Road as part of the emergency services response to this incident. Please follow @LondonFire for updates."

London Ambulance Service said it is also responding to the incident.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers are also at the scene.

A statement on Twitter said: "Officers are at the scene in Galpin's Road as part of the emergency services response to this incident. Please follow @LondonFire for updates."