Residents return home after Stoke Newington ‘gas’ blast
62-year-old man living in the ground floor flat where the explosion took place is currently staying with a relative.
Residents returned to their homes on this morning after a suspected gas explosion gutted a ground floor flat and smashed surrounding windows in Stoke Newington.
Families were forced to flee after the blast in the five storey-high Aden Lodge, in Aden Grove, shortly before 6.20pm on Monday evening (January 31).
Five other homes and six cars parked nearby were damaged by flying debris.
Firefighters moved more than 50 residents to a temporary evacuation centre in Stoke Newington Town Hall.
A 62-year-old man living alone in the ground floor flat where the explosion took place was not at home at the time. He is currently staying with a relative.
No-one else was injured and police are not treating the blast as suspicious.
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London Fire Brigade said one witness reported a smell of gas before the explosion while other residents told the Gazette they smelt gas afterwards.
Teresa Walsh, who lives nearby in Arden Grove, said: “It was amazing. I was in my kitchen and I heard this tremendous bang. I thought it was my house.
“My neighbours were in a terrible state, everybody came outside.”
She said a lot residents had stayed overnight with family and friends, although they were able to return home at midnight.
Nelson Alexander, who lives next door to the destroyed flat, was among those that took shelter in the town hall.
He said: “I was so fortunate. I heard the bang and rushed outside. I was very nervous.
“I left here to go to the centre. I was warm enough and they had some chairs for people.
“Some of my place is now damaged and I can’t get out to the back because the door is jammed.”
Hackney Homes, the arms length organisation that manages the flats, said it was is currently assessing the damage and arranging for repairs to be carried out as soon as possible. London Fire Brigade is also compiling a report.
A spokesman for Hackney Council said: “We would like to pass on our thanks to both London Fire Brigade and Hackney Police for their assistance in last night’s incident.”