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Terror as street is hit by huge blast

RESIDENTS were reeling from shock after an explosion blew a front door off and smashed windows along the streets on New Years Day.

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BOARDED up after the blast ... the house hit by a huge firework on Exchange Street, Accrington

RESIDENTS were reeling from shock after an explosion blew a front door off and smashed windows along the streets on New Years Day.

A number of houses and a car were damaged during the incident, thought to have been caused by a huge firework exploding in Exchange Street, Accrington, at around 4am.

Many residents thought there had been a gas explosion or a bomb had gone off when they were woken by the "tremendous" bang, which was heard as far away as Blackburn Road. Fire crews who attended the scene confirmed the damage was caused by a firework, but police have been unable to establish where it came from.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "The whole house shook and I thought it was a gas explosion or a bomb. My two kids, aged eight and four, were woken up by the noise. Most of the bottom end of the street went out to see what had happened. My next door neighbour's window went through with the blast and the window of a car which was parked over the road went right through. The fire brigade were here most of the night and the kids would not go back to sleep with everything that was going on."

Another resident added: "There was a flash and then a terrific bang and the next minute there were fire engines and police outside. I wondered if it was a bomb, the noise from it. I did not know what was happening. There were one or two people out in the street and the door went through on one of our neighbour's houses. It's frightening really. I was scared to go to bed afterwards."

Inspector Phil Cottam, of Accrington Police, said: "We do not have a motive for the incident. We are keeping an open mind as to why it should have gone off. There was damage to a number of houses in that street and it also caused a great deal of distress. We would like to appeal to anyone who may know the reasons for the incident or if anyone saw anything suspicious to get in touch with us."

Anyone with information can contact Accrington Police on 353756 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.