Firefighters have issued a warning about safe storage of gas cylinders following an explosion and fire in Bletchley this morning.
Crews from Bletchley, Great Holm and Broughton were called to the incident, in Turnberry Close, at 4.44am.
The fire started in a garage after an LPG cylinder exploded, landing about 20 metres away. The explosion and fire destroyed the garage, and damaged four houses and a car.
The explosion blew internal doors off their hinges and caused fires in the two nearest houses, and damaged the roofs of these two houses and two others.
Ambulance staff treated two people - one for shock, and the other for a pre-existing medical condition.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used three jets to bring the fire under control and to cool two other gas cylinders.
Station Manager Ian Wilson from Broughton Fire Station, who was one of the officers at the scene, said: “We are relieved that no-one was injured by the explosion or fire. Had this happened at a different time of day, it could have been an even more serious incident.”
Residents who had gathered outside after the explosion were asked to go back indoors because of the risk of another explosion.
Four houses were evacuated, and a cordon was set up, initially leading to the closure of nearby Buckingham Road.
An investigation is being carried out to identify the cause of the fire.
Ian is urging people not to store gas cylinders in garages and sheds. He said: “I am sure there are many other people out there who are currently storing gas cylinders for barbecues, camping stoves and other equipment in their garages and sheds.
“This incident has illustrated the amount of damage that can be caused, not to mention the risk to life, when something goes wrong.
“Gas cylinders should be stored outdoors, ideally in a caged area, away from anything that could start a fire and away from anything that a fire could spread to.”