Three people have been injured following an explosion that destroyed two homes in Greater Manchester this afternoon (16 January 2017). One terrace house in Victoria Avenue in Blackley was left completely flattened in the explosion.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services (GMFRS) said that three people had been hurt in the incident, two of whom have been seriously injured.

Paul Duggan, command support officer of the GMRFS, said they are treating the incident as a suspected gas explosion.

He said: "The technical response unit are currently shoring up the building as its in a dangerous state. The rescue dog has also been working through the building.

"We have asked a number of local residents to leave their properties for safety. I don't anticipate they will be out their houses for a long period. I understand it was quite a blast. Quite a large part of the structure has collapsed, and the gas then ignited."

Following a search of the debris, firefighters did manage to recover a kitten from the scene and confirmed that it is "being very well looked-after".

A GMFRS spokesperson added: "At 12:40PM on Monday January 16, five crews from Blackley, Ashton, Manchester Central, Broughton and Chadderton were called to a partially collapsed end terrace in Victoria Avenue, Blackley.

"An aerial unit from Stretford is on route, along with two TRUs from Ashton and Leigh, a command unit from Rochdale, a timber unit from Rochdale and a fire dog."

Station commander and incident commander Merl Forrer added: "We are currently shoring up the property and using dogs to search the scene to ensure nobody is trapped inside. The building is partially collapsed, and we are working effectively with partners to determine a cause of the explosion. The road the property is on is currently closed and we advise people to avoid the area if possible."