The next door neighbor to a house that exploded in Kingstanding has told how a well-timed toilet break ‘saved his life’ from the fatal blast. Residents of Dulwich Road have described the terrifying moment when houses shook and ceilings crumbled in a gas explosion on Sunday evening June 26.
A woman died and a man fought for his life after a house was consumed by fire around 8.30pm. Dad Lami Charlery was playing on his computer in his living room but had snuck into the bathroom when the massive explosion caused his living room ceiling to collapse – right where he had just sat down.
Lami, 40, told BirminghamLive: ‘The ceiling came down and the glass came in. If I was in another room, I wouldn’t be alive. I’m lucky to be alive. »
Read more – The Kingstanding pub provides beds for families evacuated after a deadly gas explosion at home
He added: “There was a big explosion. I stood at the door and fell backwards. I didn’t know what was going on. The ceiling had passed.
“I ran outside and heard someone in the back yelling ‘help’. There were about 10-15 of us. When we went to help him, we could hear him (the fire sizzle).
Lami said people helped pull the injured man out of the house that had exploded when emergency services arrived. The father-of-two, who was home alone, said he was grateful to the local community for helping the six evacuated families find a place to sleep for the night. The families – including four children – were accommodated for the night by the friendly staff of the Kingstanding Inn.
“I’m still in shock right now,” he said. “I’m losing my breath. I’m in the wrong place right now. Everyone has been so nice, very nice people to help us. It takes something like that to let you know everyone cares.
A next-door neighbour, who asked not to be named, described hearing two loud bangs before his ceiling fell and landed on his living room floor in front of him. He said: “There were two explosions – a first explosion and then a massive explosion.
“My ceiling bent and landed in my front room next to me. I’m then sitting there staring at the sky. I just have a few scratches and I made it through.”
Mark Pearman, 49, described the dramatic moments before emergency services arrived as around 30 people rushed to help save a man heard screaming inside. He said: “We heard a massive explosion and our bodies shook. Blankets of smoke covered the street. There was a pile of rubble where the house should have been and massive flames.
“About 30 young people rushed to help. One group was at the front, the other circled around the back. We formed a human chain and passed the rubble piece by piece.
“A few of the young guys held onto a wooden beam and a woman, a resident, who is a sports physio, pulled the man out. They put him on a mattress that had blown from the house and help came. arrived.”
Mark, his partner Sue and their dog were among the families forced to flee their homes overnight. Sue, 48, said: “I was actually in bed and heard that almighty knock and the whole house shook. Before you knew it, we were out of the house and the house at three doors was on fire. [The pub] helped a lot of families who wouldn’t have had a place to sleep last night.”