Thornton Heath fire: House collapses in explosion with 'shaken' neighbours woken by blast

Neighbours were left "shaken" after waking up to a huge blast in London as a house collapsed in an explosion this morning.

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters raced to the property in Thornton Heath, Croydon just after 7am today.

A dramatic aerial image shows the roof completely destroyed and debris strewn across the street in the aftermath of the explosion.

Another photo captured the damage to shared walls of neighbouring homes.

The cause of the fire and explosion is not known at this time.

Nearby residents took to social media saying the bang from the explosion "frightened the life" out of them.

They also described seeing a helicopter circling the property.

One local posted on Facebook: "The bang frightened the life out of me. I'm opposite Galpin's, they have the helicopter circling & can hear sirens."

The London Fire Brigade said they had taken 13 calls about the blaze shortly after 7am.

The fire service is asking people to avoid the area as they bring the situation under control.