Police thank Ryhope community for pulling together after house blast

The aftermath of the explosion in  Rosslyn Avenue.
The aftermath of the explosion in Rosslyn Avenue.
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Police have thanked the people of Ryhope for how the community pulled together in the aftermath of last week's house explosion.

Friday's blast left a woman in a serious condition in hospital when her home in Rosslyn Avenue was reduced to rubble.

Susan Shepherd was left with burns to her hands and suffered a blow to the head in the impact of the blast last Friday.

The 40-year-old had been looking in the fridge when the explosion hit, just before 9am, and was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary in a serious condition by the Great North Air Ambulance.

Her house was destroyed in the incident, while the neighbouring semi-detached house was demolished later that day due to safety concerns.

Susan’s children, Jasmine, nine, and Kyle, 19, were out at the time.

During the incident local residents were evacuated from their homes with the community pulling together to make sure they had somewhere to go.

Acting Sergeant Kirsty Pitchford, from the Sunderland Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "The generosity of The Salvation Army, Gentoo and the people of Sunderland was quite humbling to see.

"The local community made sure people who had been evacuated were looked after and had somewhere to go aswell as get something to eat and drink.

"Not only that but they also looked after the first responders, many of who were on the scene for hours, making sure they were provided with food and hot drinks.

"This meant they could remain at the scene ensuring everyone’s safety.

"I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who rallied round to help”.