Birmingham explosion: Hero neighbors charged into burning house to save man after blast


Emergency services descended on the scene of a house explosion in Kingstanding, Birmingham on Sunday evening, with the blast heard for thousands around and left the property in ruins

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Birmingham explosion: Girlfriend of a rescuer recalls incident

Hero neighbors charged into a burning house to rescue a homeowner as a fireball explosion tore through the property.

Emergency services descended on the scene of a house explosion in Kingstanding, Birmingham on Sunday evening, with the blast heard for thousands around and left the property in ruins.

Dad Lami Charlery had been playing on his computer in his living room but had nipped to the bathroom when the massive explosion brought his lounge ceiling crashing down – right in the spot he had just been sitting.

Lami, 40, told BirminghamLive: “The ceiling came down and the glass came in. If I was in any other room I wouldn’t be alive. I’m lucky to be alive.”

“I ran into the back garden of next door’s house and jumped over to see another group of lads all moving bricks and trying to lift the second floor of the house up. The man was trapped underneath,” he said.

Lami Charlery, who lives next door to a house that exploded on Dulwich Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham
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He added: “There was a big explosion. I was holding onto the door and fell back. I didn’t know what was going on. The ceiling had come through.

“I ran outside and heard someone out the back shouting ‘help’. There was about 10 to 15 of us. When we went to help him, we could hear it (the fire sizzling).”

Callum Attwood lives a couple of roads away from the scene.

One property was destroyed and six others and several cars were damaged in the explosion
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He said he heard the explosion from his house last night and could see the smoke.

Callum says about 10-15 neighbors all helped with the rescue.

He told The Sun: “I’m just glad we got the one man out. He said his partner was still inside.

“We tried to get to her but the flames and heat was too much and the fire service had started to do their job.”

He added: “There was a big explosion. I was holding onto the door and fell back. I didn’t know what was going on. The ceiling had come through.

The scene of a dramatic house explosion on Dulwich Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham
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“I ran outside and heard someone out the back shouting ‘help’. There was about 10 to 15 of us. When we went to help him, we could hear it (the fire sizzling).”

“Get this spread round Twitter!! His actions, Braveness and courage to do what someone else wouldn’t do and put his own life at risk to save a life! Hero CALLUM ATTWOOD.”

But Callum said 10-15 others helped in the rescue.

The owner of the house, Dave Murphy, was found trapped under rubble and a fridge in the wrecked kitchen.

Rescuer Mark Pearman said: “We formed a human chain and passed each other rubble piece by piece.

The aftermath of a fatal suspected gas explosion at a house on Dulwich Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham
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“A few of the young lads held a wooden beam up and a woman, a resident who is a sports physio, pulled the man out.

“They put him on a mattress which had blown out from the house and the emergency services arrived.”

Another rescuer said terrified Dave screamed: “Please save my missus, she’s still inside.”

“There was a guy in the back, we could hear the guy screaming, but he was trapped up against the fridge in the kitchen,” they said.

“The dust from the loft insulation was burning around us. We managed to get to him, and pull him out – I still have his blood on my jeans.

“We got him out, he ended up coming out on a mattress. But he was saying there was a woman in the house.

“His clothes had been blown off, you couldn’t even see him, he was covered in blood.

Dave, a dad-of-two, remains critically ill in hospital after suffering cuts and burns in the blast.

His son Dean said: “Dad’s in hospital and he’s not in a good way. But I have survived. Sadly the lady didn’t.”

Four other men were injured in the fierce explosion, which also damaged nearby properties and parked cars.

Tragically the body of a woman, named locally as Doreen, was found buried in the remains of the house a short time later.

Emergency services descended on the scene just after 8.30pm on Sunday with nearby residents evacuated after the devastating explosion which could be heard from thousands around.

The scene of a dramatic house explosion on Dulwich Road in Kingstanding, Birmingham
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It was confirmed a man “suffered very serious injuries” and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

In a tragic update this morning, the West Midlands Fire Service tweeted: “We’re very sad to confirm that a woman has been found dead at the scene of last night’s explosion in #Kingstanding.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone affected.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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