Emergency services are responding to an explosion at a house in Sunderland. Reports on social media suggested half of the house had been destroyed and its roof “blown off”. Northumbria Police tweeted: “Police are aware of an explosion on Rosslyn Avenue, Sunderland. Emergency services are attending the scene” and asked people to avoid the area.

A witness told the Sunderland Echo the house had been “levelled to the ground”. “Never heard so many sirens. It sounds like a war zone,” they added. One woman said on social media her “house literally shook” from the force of the explosion, which she said “sounded like a bomb”. The cause of the blast is not yet known.

North East Ambulance Service sent four hazardous area response teams and two paramedic crews. A spokeswoman said: “Working with our emergency services colleagues we rescued and treated one patient, suffering burns who was in a serious but stable condition.” An air ambulance was also despatched to the disaster.