A GAS cylinder exploded into a fireball as firefighters approached a garage blaze in Bradford.

They believe the fire, inside a domestic garage attached to a terraced house on Lytton Road, West Park, was started deliberately.

The garage contained a settee and it is believed a fire spread from that to the liquid petroleum gas cylinder, which exploded causing a fireball visible to fire crews as they approached.

No-one was in the house at the time and fire crews broke in because it was feared fire might have spread inside, though only drainpipes and soffet boards on the exterior of the property were affected.

However the garage was gutted by the flames, which were spotted at about 3.45 am today (Thurs).

"It was quite a big ball of fire and we could see it as we approached from West Park," said a Fire and Rescue Service spokesman.

Fire crews spent around two hours at the scene, but the occupants of the house had not returned home during that time and police were still trying to trace them.