A woman has died in a suspected gas explosion at a home in Harrow .
Firefighters rescued another man, woman and baby inside the first-floor flat on Fulbeck Way following the terrifying incident.
The first floor partially collapsed due to the force of the explosion, with most of the brickwork and roof now laying in front of the home as rubble.
Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) were called to the scene at just before 1am on Sunday (October 21)
Firefighters using an aerial ladder platform and breathing apparatus to rescue the three others in the home, with the woman and baby assessed at the scene before being taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service (LAS) crews.
The fire was under control by 3.33am, with crews from Harrow, Northolt, Stanmore and surrounding fire stations all attending the incident.
"A 20 metre cordon has been put in place and around 40 people from neighbouring properties have been evacuated as a precaution," a spokesman for LFB said.
"The cause of the explosion is not known at this time but a gas explosion is suspected and is being investigated by the Brigade and the Metropolitan Police Service."
Crews are expected to remain at the home for some time to dampen down.
We will bring you updates on this tragic incident in our blog below:
Tribute paid to 'one of the nicest ladies' who died in flat fire
The elderly woman who tragically died in a suspected gas explosion at a flat in Harrow was “one of the nicest ladies you could ever meet”, according to a neighbour.
She has been named locally as 82-year-old Ratna Alexander and a lovely tribute had been paid to her.
Kevin Lulbaddha, who lives opposite Ms Alexander’s flat, told Getwestlondon she regularly waved at him through her window.
“[She was] one of the nicest ladies I have honestly met,” the 19-year-old said. “She’s always staring out the window, feeding the birds and waving hello to me.
“She got me a birthday card and a little present even though she didn’t know who I was at the time.
“[What happened is] such a saddening event. May she rest in peace.”
To read more of this story click here.
Do you know the woman who died in the fire?
If you knew the woman who tragically died in the fire, you can pay tribute by emailing email@example.com or by ringing 07388962965.
'I will assist in every possible way to help the victims'
Navin Shah, London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow, lives near where the explosion happened and has offered to help anyone affected.
I sadly woke up today to the news of the tragic death of a woman from a suspected gas explosion in Fulbeck Way, not that far from where I live. Having served on London’s Fire Authority for well over 8 years I’m proud of the commitment of our fire service to keep Londoners safe. We are grateful to those 70 firefighters of our London Fire Brigade that rescued 3 residents and the fire was brought under control rapidly. My heart goes out to the victims and affected residents who now require emergency facilities and support from local authorities and organisations. I will assist in every possible way to help the victims.
'My heart goes out to the victims and affected residents'
Navin Shah, the London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow, has said his “heart goes out to the victims and affected residents” following the suspected explosion this morning.
Woke up to the news of a tragic death of a woman from a gas explosion in Fulbeck Way in Harrow very early morning today. Thanks to 70 firefighters @LondonFire 3 residents rescued. Heart goes out to the victims & affected residents https://t.co/VmdCsJ24Mx— Navin Shah AM (@NavinShah2016) October 21, 2018
Smoke hovers over home
More images have emerged showing firefighters working at the damaged home this morning.
Smoke could be seen hovering over the flat after fire crews put the blaze out at around 3.30am.
Body of woman found at 4am, police say
Here is the Met Police statement in full;
The body of a woman has been found at a flat in Willow Court, Harrow following a suspected gas explosion.
Police were called by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) at 1am on Sunday, October 21 to a block of flats in Willow Court, Harrow.
A search was carried out by the LFB and the body of a woman was found at approximately 4am inside one of the flats.
Two people from another flat were taken to a north London hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
Residents from nearby homes have been evacuated.
The local authority and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed.
The London Fire Brigade will be looking into the circumstances of the incident.
Road closures are in place whilst emergency services remain at the scene.
Investigations to continue throughout day
LFB firefighters and officers from the Metropolitan Police will be on scene throughout Sunday whilst the investigation into the incident continues.
Unfortunately a woman has died in the suspected gas explosion in Fulbeck Way, #Harrow @LondonFire @Ldn_Ambulance @LAS_HART @metpoliceuk will be on scene throughout Sunday whilst the investigation into the incident continues. pic.twitter.com/XeEgz9oTgG— Harrow MPS (@MPSHarrow) October 21, 2018
Full LFB statement
Here is the LFB statement in full.
Where has the suspected gas explosion taken place?
Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) were called to Fulbeck Way, Harrow at just before 1am this morning.
It is believed the block of flats where the suspected explosion took place is called Willow Court.
Fire crews to remain at home for some time
Here is another photo which shows firefighters working at the scene following the suspected gas explosion.
Fire crews are expected to remain at the property for some time.
What we know so far
Good morning and welcome to our coverage of this horrific incident.
Sadly, a woman has died following a gas explosion at a flat in Fulbeck Way, Harrow.
Firefighters rushed to the home at just before 1am in the early hours of this morning, and battled the fire for two and a half hours.
A man, woman and baby from another flat were rescued London Fire Brigade (LFB) crews, with the woman and baby being rushed to hospital.
The body of a woman was found inside the first-floor flat at 4am.
We will bring you more updates as we get them.