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Ayr explosion: First picture of couple who cheated death alongside two sons in horror blast which destroyed family home

A COUPLE and their two sons cheated death in the explosion that flattened their family home.

William Ferguson, 47, wife Marion, 43, and their lads aged 11 and 16 were rescued from the rubble at 3 Gorse Park in Kincaidston, Ayr.

All four are in a serious condition in hospital.

A neighbour said of Monday’s suspected gas horror: “It’s a miracle they survived.”

Marion and her eldest son are being treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, while William was in the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Their youngest lad was in the adjoining Royal Hospital for Children.

A local hero told how he helped save a child from the rubble of the horror house blast — then worked his nightshift at McDonald’s.

Chris McNicol, 40, dashed to rescue a young lad trapped among the devastation despite mercy crews warning the site could blow again.

And the fast food worker told how he was driven by adrenaline as he joined other residents battling to free the casualties.

Quick-thinking Chris — who later grafted from 10pm till 6am at McDonald’s — revealed he trampled over mountains of debris to get to the stricken family.

Recalling the moment he arrived at the scene of the carnage, he said: “There were already a couple of guys talking to someone — but all I could see was a hand sticking out the rubble.

“That person was getting asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the house?’ and we got everyone to quieten down.

“We could hear a female adult voice a couple of metres away. I then got to a kid whose foot was stuck under the debris.

“What a lad — he wasn’t really crying, he just had a look of fear. The house was obliterated around him and he was just sitting there.

“We knew there was a fourth person under the rubble. We only managed to get the kid out because the fire service told us to evacuate in case there was another explosion and they didn’t want anyone else injured.”

Chris revealed he returned to the blast site this morning after his stint at work ended.

The property next to the Fergusons’ terraced home was also extensively damaged in the explosion, which sent roof tiles flying up to 200 metres away and left wreckage strewn across the street. Cars and other houses were damaged.

Stunned locals told how they feared a plane had crashed or a gun had been fired when they heard the deafening eruption, which local councillor Chris Cullen claimed was caused by gas.

DEAFENING ERUPTION

Shocking doorbell footage from near the blast zone captured the explosion followed by showers of debris tumbling from the sky.

John Stevenson, 45, who lives a few homes away, said: “I was just watching TV and there was this blast. The window warped.

“I thought my home was coming down so I ran out. There was stuff flying out the sky.”

Another neighbour, 20, told how she scrambled over rubble filled with children’s toys, homework sheets and clothes to flee in the aftermath of the explosion.

The sports therapist, who did not want named, likened the scene to “a war zone” as dozens of terrified residents ‘’ran for their lives’’.

She said: “There were kids’ toys outside the front door of those houses and their clothes and stuff.

“There were homework sheets, joining up the letters, you couldn’t miss it. I had to climb all over it.

“Hangers with clothes on them, curtains in trees. It was just horrible.”

Describing the blast impact, she added: “There was a massive bang and the place shook. All the glass in my close shattered and I ran out.

“There were about 30 people all sprinting. They were running in terror. It was scenes from the olden days in the war.

“There were mothers carrying babies wearing nothing or in babygrows running for their lives. There were car alarms going off and things flashing and big stones everywhere.’’

Jill Hannah, 43, was visiting her mum nearby when disaster struck. She said: “I was watching Emmerdale and the next minute the house just shook.

“We thought it was a car crash or believe it or not a gun or something because we had never heard anything like it before.

“From my mum’s back bedroom window you can see down and there was a house and a half gone with smoke billowing out. It was like something you see in a movie.”

One man shared CCTV footage online of the sound of the eruption heard some eight miles away.

Scottish Gas Networks confirmed it was ensuring the area around the site was made safe.

Chief Inspector Derrick Johnston, South Ayrshire area commander, said a multi-agency probe was under way to establish the cause of the blast.

He added: “Our thoughts are with the family and everyone affected in the community.”

He said gas was “one line of inquiry being looked at”.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area commander Ian McMeekin described the incident as “extremely challenging”.

He added: “There is significant damage to the properties and the surrounding area.”

CCTV captures shocking footage of horror house explosion in Ayr

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