A man says he is lucky to be alive after his son and a neighbour pulled him from a blaze which totally destroyed his home.

The fire and an explosion at the semi-detached house on Bankfield Drive, Keighley, tore the gable wall and roof off the building.

Firefighters fought for hours to prevent the inferno from spreading to four adjacent homes before managing to bring the flames under control.

James Richardson, 48, an emphysema sufferer with severe breathing problems, was asleep on the downstairs sofa when the blaze began in a room on the upper floor.

He said: “I usually have a rest in the afternoon on the sofa as I can’t get up the stairs because of the emphysema. I didn’t hear the explosion or anything, the first I knew was being woken up by my son – also called James – who grabbed me and pulled me out through the downstairs window. They couldn’t get the door open so he had to throw something through the window and climb in and get me.

“The whole house is destroyed, it’s a miracle no-one was killed. My wife and our two grandchildren who are staying with us were out at the time, thank God. I hate to think what would have happened if it had been in the middle of the night.”

Mr Richardson, shaken and huddled with his family near the house, added: “I was half unconscious when they dragged me out. I inhaled a lot of smoke. We don’t know where we are going to stay tonight, everything we have in the world is gone.”

Watch manager Gary Davies,of Keighley Fire and Rescue, said: “When we arrived we saw Mr Richardson lying on the pavement. I would say he is very lucky that his son managed to get into the house and pull him out.

“When we arrived we believed that there still may have been another person trapped in the house.

“Flames were coming out through the roof, the windows and the gap where the wall had been blown out.

“My firefighters conducted a professional and thorough search of the property. As the fire progressed it became apparent that it had spread to the roof void in the next door property.

“The fire was so severe that it had gone through the walls and caused substantial damage to that building as well. Two firefighters went into the roof space and fought the fire there. It was so fierce that at one point it looked like we could lose every house on that side of the street. They did a terrific job and managed to extinguish the flames and prevent it spreading.”

The cause is under investigation. Watch commander Davies said the Fire and Rescue Service would return to the area to give fire safety advice and offer free home risk assessments if people wished.