A man was taken to hospital suffering burns after a house fire which is under investigation by detectives.
Durham Constabulary and firefighters from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service were called to Toft Crescent in Murton following reports of a blaze.
A man, believed to be aged 30, was taken to hospital suffering from burns.
Police say he was the only person in the property when the incident happened and have confirmed they are carrying out an inquiry into what happened.
The road outside the house was closed off to traffic for a short time after the fire as a safety precaution.
The incident happened shortly before 5pm yesterday.
Residents living in the street and Ash Terrace say they heard a loud bang from the house as they began to arrive home from school with their children.
The front window of the end terrace was forced out and its shattered remains are still lying in the front garden.
The gap it left in the front of the home has since been boarded up.
The remains of red and white tape put up by the emergency services can still be seen tied to a tree and fencing.
A barrier has also been installed to block off access to the back garden.
At the rear of the house, another widow to the kitchen has been sealed up, while a large crack can be seen between the rear extension and the flat roof.
One 23-year-old mum of two said: "I was in the house and I saw three fire engines turn up.
"I thought 'What are they doing outside?' and then I saw lots if cop cars turn up.
"They were here for hours afterwards.
"The gas people have been here today and the CSI.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw the house and the back is worse than the front."
The incident is not believed to have damaged the neighbouring properties.
Anyone with information can contact Durham Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.