Neighbours throw fundraiser for victims of Sunderland gas blast explosion

The house in Rosslyn Avenue, Ryhope, where the gas blast happened.
The house in Rosslyn Avenue, Ryhope, where the gas blast happened.
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A fundraiser is to be held for the victims of a gas explosion in a Sunderland street which left one woman seriously injured and two families homeless.

Susan Shepherd, 40, was looking inside her fridge when her semi-detached house in Rosslyn Avenue, Ryhope, was blown apart by the impact of the blast just before 9am on Friday, August 11.

Rev. David Chadwick of St.Paul's Church, Ryhope, is helping to orgainse a funraiser for the victims of the recent gas blast in Ryhope.

Rev. David Chadwick of St.Paul's Church, Ryhope, is helping to orgainse a funraiser for the victims of the recent gas blast in Ryhope.

Luckily, her children Jasmine, nine, and Kyle, 19, were staying elsewhere when the incident happened, but Susan was seriously injured and was airlifted by the Great North Air Ambulance to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

She was said to have suffered burns to her hands and a knock to the head.

The street was evacuated following the explosion, with residents allowed to return home later that evening.

The house attached to Susan’s home was demolished on the same day due to safety concerns.

Now, Ryhope residents have rallied round to put on a fundraiser to help the two families affected – Susan’s and neighbours Colin and Chris Fisherman, who both lost their homes.

The event will take place at Ryhope Cricket Club on Friday, September 8, from 6:30pm to 11:30pm.

It will feature a band, karaoke, tombola and raffles – with prizes donated from the likes of Sunderland AFC, Amanda Bell from Pamper and Prosecco and Joanne Armstrong from Reiki and crystal healing.

Children are welcome until 8.30pm.

Ryhope resident Christine Hope, who has helped to organise the event on behalf of group Ryhope Community Spirit, said: “We want to raise as much as we can for the two families that have been affected as they have lost everything.

“We hope to raise £200 from the event.

“So far we have managed to raise £1,700 from a Go Fund Me page set up by Tina Owens and Jade Simone.

“One of the families that have been affected are moving into a new house next week, but they have absolutely nothing.

“So we are raising funds to be divided in half between the families so that can 
buy things they need, like a sofa.”