A HOUSE was severely damaged on Monday when a gas boiler exploded.

Smoke from the explosion and resulting fire could be seen three miles away and the walls of the house were cracked.

The explosion, at about 10.30am in Campion Drive, Guisborough, shook the street but no-one was seriously hurt.

Part of the roof of the house was blown off and deposited in the garden. There was also extensive water damage to the ground floor of the house.

David Hobson, station officer at Coulby Newham Fire Station, attended the scene. "A couple in the house at the time were unharmed save for a slight burn on the lady's arm," he said. "We spent a lot of time in the loft where there was a lot of damage. I know there were a lot of things precious to the couple, including photographs, in there that were badly damaged. We spent a long time getting that down and making the place safe. There were concerns that the conservatory could fall in."

A British Gas spokesman said: "One of our engineers visited the house to service the boiler. We cannot speculate on what caused the explosion but we are working alongside the Health and Safety Executive in its investigation.

"We are also visiting the house to offer support and assistance to the customers."

A spokesman for the HSE said an investigation was being completed with help from both British Gas and Transco. She said: "A boiler in the house had been serviced but it is too early say what caused the explosion."

The owners of the house, who were being comforted by neighbours, declined to comment.