A mother fighting for her life with her two young boys in hospital after their home was destroyed in a huge explosion was ‘saved’ by her fridge freezer.
Jessica Williams, 31, her son Reuben, five and his two-year-old brother, Elliott, were found in the rubble of the demolished three-bedroom house in South Wales at 2.05pm on Wednesday.
The mother and her two sons remain in critical but stable conditions in hospital after suffering serious burns.
Nursery worker Jessica was found by former firefighter Jeff Davies who said he found her under the large fridge freezer which had protected her from the rubble.
Nursery worker Jessica Williams, 31, her son Reuben, five and his two-year-old brother, Elliott, were found in the rubble of the demolished three-bedroom house in Neath, South Wales. Ms Williams was found underneath her fridge freezer by former firefighter Jeff Davies
Jessica Williams was seriously injured when her home in South Wales was destroyed in an explosion
Her children Reuben and Elliott, five and his two, were also rushed to hospital in Bristol by air ambulance after Wednesday’s explosion
He said: ‘The house was completely collapsed. She was injured herself and very concerned for her children.
‘What had saved her was a large fridge freezer that had been blown alongside her – and there was a slight void to the side of that where she was lying.
‘She was absolutely immense. Such a brave young lady,’ he told The Sun.
Mr Davies said he removed the rubble from around her and pulled her out after running over to the house after hearing a loud bang in Seven Sisters, near Neath.
He and another man who came to help used a piece of timber from the roof to wedge the fridge freezer from off of her.
The terraced property was destroyed in a gas explosion at 2.05pm on Wednesday afternoon
Friends said the boys were in so much pain they were ‘put to sleep’ before being airlifted to hospital.
The boys’ father Mike David was in work when he heard there had been an explosion in the village.
He rushed to the scene phoning Ms Williams on the way but was unable to get an answer.
She was unconscious in the rubble but neighbours said she came around when she heard the phone ringing.
Mr David was heard shouting: ‘My girlfriend, my girlfriend’ as he arrived at the house which was blown to bits in the explosion on Wednesday afternoon.
Neighbours said the roof of the family home was blown 40ft up in the air and the force of the blast was felt a quarter of a mile away.
Jessica Williams, pictured with her partner Mike David, right, was seriously injured in the explosion
Anthony Parsons, 68, one of the first on the scene, said: ‘It was absolute carnage, the whole front of the house was blasted out into the road.
‘I ran down there and I could see two children, they were only tots.
‘Their mother was in a terrible state, she had burns over her arms and chest, all down her front was burned.’
Project manager Mr Parsons said Ms Williams had been knocked out cold by the huge blast.
He said: ‘I was told that she came around when she heard the phone ringing.’
An air ambulance took the two boys to hospital for emergency treatment at Southmead Hospital, Bristol
Care home cleaner Lauren Collins, 29, who works with the boys’ grandfather said they were a lovely family and the whole village was praying for them.
She said: ‘They had to put the two boys to sleep before they were flown to hospital – it’s just terrible.
‘I was driving past when there was a massive boom I felt the vibration in my car.’
Next door neighbour Susan Morgan, 73, who wasn’t in at the time said: ‘They are a lovely, lovely family. This is so sad for them but we are just glad they are alive.’
Neighbouring homes and cars parked in the street were badly damaged by flying masonry, wood and glass.
The local rugby club was opened up for families evacuated in the aftermath of the explosion.
Neighbours claimed the roof was blown more than 40 feet into the air and the blast could be felt half a mile away
The blast is believed to be from a gas leak and safety engineers from a utility company were on the scene.
A South Wales Police spokeswoman said yesterday: ‘We can confirm the three people injured in the incident, a 31-year-old woman and two boys aged five and two all remain in hospital and are in critical but stable conditions.
‘The road remains closed and we continue to ask people to avoid the area.
‘The cause of the explosion is under investigation.’
South Wales Police confirmed today there as been no change in condition for the woman and her children and the investigation continues.
Neighbours pulled the family from the rubble before the arrival of the fire brigade, using a piece of timber from the roof to remove the fridge freezer from
The Welsh Ambulance Service said: ‘We responded with five vehicles of the Hazardous Area Response Team, one rapid response vehicle, two emergency ambulances and one specialised medical team and we received the support of the Wales Air Ambulance.
‘One patient was transported by road ambulance to Morriston Hospital, Swansea, and two patients were transported by air ambulance to Southmead Hospital, Bristol.’
An online fund for the family has been set up and more than £9,000 has been raised so far.
- You can donate to the family fund on their JustGiving page