AT least one person suffered serious injuries when a house exploded and burst into flames, police have confirmed.

Firefighters were called to the incident in Kingsmead Court, Littleport at 11.50am after residents heard a loud bang.

As nearby Victoria Street was engulfed in thick, black smoke neighbours attempted to enter the property to see if there was anybody inside but were beaten back by the heat of the blaze.

Crews from Littleport, Ely and Sutton used an extra-high ladder to fight the blaze. Having put out most of the flames, they then called on assistance from the Norfolk Urban Search and Rescue team to make the structure of the house safe enough for them to continue their work.

Once that was done, they were able to go inside and damp down remaining hotspots. The fire was extinguished completely by 7.05pm - more than seven hours after the explosion.

Clive Webber, 53, who lives in Victoria Street, opposite the Kingsmead Court property, added: "It was such a big explosion it rattled the windows of my house.

"It was quite frightening to see how a modern house can burn like an inferno. All the windows were blown out and flames were coming through the roof.

"It was quite a dramatic scene. It was unreal - you just couldn't believe what you were seeing.

"Two of the neighbours attempted to go in but it was an absolute inferno. You couldn't get anywhere close to it. No one was going to be able to do anything in there - it needed professional help.

"The fire service were absolutely stunning. It was impressive how quick and effective they were."

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue said a fire investigation into the cause of the blaze was underway.