A FATHER was sitting next to a gas fire when it exploded and wrecked the family home.
More details have emerged about the gas blast which ruined the house on Bracken Grove, Brackenhall, at 4.15am yesterday and was reported in yesterday's Examiner.
It is now known that 40-year-old Andrew Kitching was on his computer near the fire in the living- room when it exploded.
Miraculously, neither Mr Kitching nor the rest of his family, who were sleeping upstairs, were hurt.
But the force of the blast blew the windows out, scattering glass up to 60 yards away.
It even dislodged the window frame and blew the living-room door off its hinges and into the hallway.
The blast also sent cupboards tumbling from the wall in the kitchen and lifted the ceilings.
Mr Kitching's wife, 26- year-old Faith, said: "It's amazing Andrew wasn't hurt. It's still a mystery why the gas fire exploded. It was switched on at the time."
Mrs Kitching and the couple's children, six-year-old Blake and Megan, three, had gone upstairs to bed.
Mrs Kitching said: "We had all fallen asleep on my bed. Andrew had come in late and decided to use the computer downstairs.
"When I heard the bang I at first thought Blake had fallen off the bed. I reached out, but he was still there.
"I took the children downstairs and out of the house. We could smell gas then, but not before."
She said the house was now condemned as unsafe and would need major work, which could take four months.
"The ceiling was damaged and there are big cracks in the plaster in the children's bedroom," said Mrs Kitching.
"It's lucky they weren't in there. Plaster and brickwork is hanging off in the living- room, too.
"It's so unsafe we can't go back in to get our belongings yet."
The family has been temporarily rehoused in a council home on Well Grove, Sheepridge.
Engineers from Transco checked pipework outside the home and at the mains. They found no faults.
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: "The source of the explosion appears to have been the gas fire, which is not defective.
"We will be doing a structural survey to see what the damage is.
"The family has been rehoused."