Tributes to 'caring and funny' dad killed in house explosion as family reveal cause of blast will take WEEKS to find out
TRIBUTES have been paid to a "caring and funny" dad in his 50s who died in an explosion at his family home.
Carl Whalley died in the blast at the house in Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire, on Friday afternoon.
A fundraising page set up to help Carl's family with the costs of his funeral said it may take weeks or months to know what caused the explosion.
The house was engulfed in flames and levelled within half-an-hour of the blast which sounded like a "bomb going off", local residents said.
People living on the residential street ran from their homes following the explosion at 1.30pm.
Police found Carl's body in the collapsed rubble of the home on Kirkby Avenue.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Police investigators are probing what caused the blast.
In a heartbreaking tribute on the JustGiving page, Carl's family said "we have lost everything".
The message read: "We do not know the cause of the explosion and it will be weeks/months until we find out what actually happened.
As a family we are devasted, Carl was such a caring, funny and loveable figure. He would do anything for anyone and he did not deserve this.
"We aren’t allowed back to our house and as you have probably seen there is nothing to go back to.
"We would appreciate and donation however large or small it may be, it would go along way towards funeral costs."
Aerial photographs from the street show a scene of Friday's devastation.
The house was torn apart in the explosion, while a home next door is badly damaged, with tiles torn from the roof.
People living in the street said their own homes "shook" with the force of the ignition.
Neighbour Barry Kemp told The Sun: “There was a massive explosion and the house burst into flames.
“Within 30 minutes the house was burnt to cinder. There was nothing left of it. It sounded like a bomb going off.
“I have never seen a house collapse so quickly.”
His wife Ingrid said she heard an "almighty bang" while ironing.
“I looked out of the window and there were flames coming from the lounge," she said.
"The windows had blown out. The house quickly set on fire.”
One woman, who lives in the house opposite, said the explosion "shook the whole place" – adding: "Very scary."
'LIKE A BOMB GOING OFF'
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We remain at the scene of a suspected explosion at an address on Kirkby Avenue in Clayton le Woods
"Emergency services were called at around 1.30pm on Friday, October 15, to a report a house had collapsed.
"We can now sadly confirm that one person has died, believed at this stage to be a man in his 50s. His next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.
"A joint investigation between Lancashire Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service into the cause of the incident remains in its early stages and is on-going.
“A cordon remains in place around the property and local authority partners are assisting with welfare for a number of people evacuated from neighbouring properties.”
To donate to the JustGiving page to held the Whalley family, please visit the page here.
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