Published: 14:02, 04 May 2021
| Updated: 16:01, 04 May 2021
A woman has spoken of the harrowing scene left in the immediate wake of an explosion that has destroyed a house.
She said: "My window looks onto the street and - as we're on a bus route - I thought a bus had hit the house.
"I heard the boom, ran out the house and saw the dust and detritus as it started falling.
"At that point there was no fire just very light smoke, but glass, fibre glass, book pages and debris was everywhere."
Michelle quickly got on the phone to 999, with her call possibly being the first to get through.
The 29-year-old liaised with the emergency response teams for about 15 minutes, while neighbours helped to get people out of the worst affected buildings.
She noted the "biggest heroes" were a builder and his son, who rescued an elderly couple who the paramedics rushed to when they arrived at the scene.
The brave pair then rushed into a neighbouring property to rescue a young woman.
Michelle said the rescues were all the more incredible because "by this point the ash and smoke was so thick and toxic it was hard to see and breathe."
A flood of emergency service vehicles then poured onto the street, with fire engines, two air ambulances, and "more police and PCSOs" than Ms King had ever seen.
Smoke was pouring into people's homes as windows had been blown out by the explosion, and everyone was evacuated within a couple of hours.
Michelle praised the speed at which the emergency services arrived, with the first responders turning up only a couple of minutes after the initial blast.
Michelle is currently living at her mum's property in South Ashford and doesn't know when she'll be allowed to return.
However she says that her quick return is second in her mind to her hopes that everyone came out of the explosion alive.
Meanwhile Frankie Habgood of nearby Breadlands Road said: "It felt like the house and windows were shaking.
"I heard the sirens and looked out of the window - there were people everywhere.
"It's terrifying. When we first saw what was happening and went out onto the road, people were saying there might be another explosion because of the adjacent homes.
"It's scary, and Ashford's quite a close knit community so people will stick together and help each other, but it's just horrendous."