Firefighters rush to 'major incident' after gas explosion at block of flats in Bedford

People have been urged to 'avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed'

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At least two people have been injured, one seriously, after a gas explosion at a block of flats in Bedford.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service described the blaze on Redwood Grove, Bedford, as a “major incident”, while a local resident said they saw one person leap from a second-floor window to escape the burning building.

Bedfordshire Police confirmed two people have been taken to hospital, one with serious injuries, as emergency services continue to respond to the fire at the three-storey block of 20 flats, which has caused the building’s roof to collapse.

Adam Fisher, a 37-year-old sales worker whose office is nearby, said he heard a “huge explosion” before witnessing “an inferno” at the site and people screaming.

At least two people have been injured, one seriously in the incident
At least two people have been injured, one seriously in the incident
Emergency services at the scene
Emergency services at the scene

“A huge explosion heard – everyone went to our work car park to see what was happening,” he said.

“Our building is adjacent to the apartment complex – immediately an inferno (was) visible, huge smoke cloud billowing, people screaming and people frantically calling for emergency services.”

Mr Fisher shared footage on Twitter which shows plumes of flame erupting from the building as fire engines showered the blaze with water.

It said in a statement Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently in attendance at a major gas explosion on Redwood Grove, Bedford.

“There are currently 6 appliances, 2 water carriers, an incident command unit at the scene.

"Please avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed.”