Residents’ shock as Rugby home explodes

The Badby Leys bungalow in daylight.
The Badby Leys bungalow in daylight.

Residents on Rugby’s Hillside estate are still in a state of shock after an explosion ripped through a bungalow in Badby Leys.

Two fire crews from Rugby were called to the scene just before 10.15pm on Saturday (August 27) after reports of a fire following an explosion, and battled into the early hours of the morning to extinguish the flames.

Jane Roumayah, who lives opposite the bungalow, was at home at the time. She said: “I was watching TV when I heard the explosion.

“It sounded like a bomb going off. I pulled back the curtain, looked out the window and saw huge flames going up into the sky.

“The bungalow was completely ablaze so I got on the phone and called 999.

“My whole driveway was covered in glass - it hit my car and cracked a pane of glass on one of my windows.

“People I know who live several streets away heard it and thought it was a clap of thunder because we’d had storms recently.

“The neighbours who live directly next to the bungalow said they felt their houses tremble.

“One of the firemen also told me that one of the bungalow’s radiators had gone through the window from the force of the explosion.

“It all happened so fast - there was nothing that could have been done to stop it going up in flames.

“Thankfully it’s a quiet residential area and no-one was going past or walking their dog at the time. If they were, they would have been badly cut by the glass.

“The outcome could have been a lot worse. It makes you wonder what could have happened.

“The firemen have also been coming round to talk to us about fire safety which is reassuring.”

A spokesperson for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The surrounding properties were protected and the fire was extinguished quickly.

“An investigation is being carried out to confirm the cause of the explosion.”

The property was built by Stepnell Ltd in the early 1960s and is still owned and let out by the construction company. Peter Wakeford, a director of Stepnell, said: “We only had the property handed back to us yesterday (Tuesday). It’s obviously early days yet but if we were to rebuild it would have to be demolished and then we’d have to apply for planning permission.

“Thankfully the tenant living there was on holiday at the time. It was extremely fortunate that there was no loss of life or injury to any person or pet - aside from some fish in a tank.”