A family of five had a miraculous escape after their grandfather lit a cigarette – and blew up their house.
Mohammed Zaman, 73, sat down to enjoy a late night fag unaware there was gas leak in the kitchen of his terraced home in Peterborough, Cambs.
The massive explosion shattered the windows, tore doors off their hinges, blew plaster from the walls and ripped floorboard from the ground.
Stunned Mohammed was flung to the floor in a bloody mess and was rushed to hospital in a stable condition with head wounds.
Sons Shafaqat Hussain, 28, and Sadaqat Hussain, 22, daughter-in-law Sabila and granddaughter Mahek, one, were asleep upstairs at the time.
Sadaqat said: ”My wife and I woke when there was a huge bang downstairs and then my closet door fell on top of us.
”After checking on my daughter, I went straight downstairs. My dad was lying on the floor with blood on his forehead but was able to get outside.”
Shafaqat said: ”I came out of my room and there was just a smoke cloud everywhere.
”I was screaming for my dad because I knew he was downstairs and I was very concerned when I saw him.
”Luckily, though, he just had a few cuts and bruises and was discharged from hospital after a few hours.”
Mohammed returned home from midnight Ramadan prayers at Gladstone Street Mosque, Peterborough, at around 12.30am on Friday.
He was disturbed by an ‘odd’ smell in the kitchen but checked the appliances including the cooker and they were all switched off.
But when he lit up a cigarette he ignited a hidden gas leak and was blown to the floor while his four-bedroom house filled with acrid smoke.
Mr Zaman’s niece Nazim Hussain, 28, believes that the blast may have stopped the family from dying from gas poisoning.
She said: ”In a way it was lucky – they could all have died if the gas leak carried on all night.
”I live down the road and got a call about the explosion. When I came down there were dozens of people in the street – it must have woken up all the neighbours.”
Two neighbouring houses were evacuated following the blast and the Zaman family have moved in with relatives until their home is repaired.
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said an investigation into the blast has been launched.
The spokesman added: ”If there was a sizable gas leak it could put anyone sleeping in the house’s lives at risk.”
A spokesman for the National Grid said the street’s gas supply was working perfectly.