FIREFIGHTERS say they are certain that metal thieves caused a Leverington semi detached bungalow to explode in the early hours of today (Monday).

The house in Leonard's Road blew up at 12.45am and the neighbours were forced to evacuate.

Residents in the area say police had visited the bungalow several times throughout the weekend.

Fire service incident commander Gary Reach said he was "99.9 per cent sure" that the explosion was as a result of metal theft.

"We have ruled out all the other possibilities," he said.

The bungalow is totally destroyed and neighbours Ian Gowler and Mavis Stails have been forced to move out.

Mr Gowler said: "I feel a little bit sick it's happened and helpless, too, as I can do nothing about it."

He added: "I am just relieved that I and the missus didn't get hurt."