AN EXPLOSION ripped through an upper floor flat at the weekend.

Five fire and rescue crews and police officers were called to the Broadway area of Darras Hall, in Ponteland, on Sunday evening to tackle a large blaze, which took close to three hours to extinguish. Due to the difficult nature of the fire, a specialist aerial appliance from Tyne and Wear was called in.

Emergency services received a report of the fire at 8.10pm on Sunday. When fire crews arrived, the blaze had caused damaged to the upper floor flat and an internal floor had collapsed, with the fire spreading to the unoccupied former cafe on the ground floor.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is being conducted.