THE cause of a gas explosion which left a family's home in ruins, remains a mystery.

The force of the blast hurled 30-year-old mother of three, Marie Johnson, through a ground floor window and into the garden of her home in Eamont Road, Norton, near Stockton-on-Tees.

Emergency services arrived to find her partner, 30-year-old Jason Bell wandering around the house, dazed, but unhurt, after the blast earlier this month.

What remained of the semi-detached house has been pulled down.

Fortunately, the couple's three children were sleeping at their grandparents' home when the explosion occurred as Ms Johnson went to light a gas fire, which is thought to have had a leak.

The back wall of the house was blown out by the explosion.

A spokesman for Transco, which is responsible for the gas supply system, said the company had been to inspect the property, and found both the gas meter and service pipe to be fine.

The Health and Safety Executive is carrying out a full inquiry to try to discover the cause of the explosion.