It was 4am on a Thursday morning in August, 1985, when the residents of Grinshills Close in Toxteth were woken up by a rumbling sound.
Suddenly, the houses shook and an explosion ripped through the terraced street leaving families trapped under rubble with one woman thrown onto the roof by the force of the blast.
The gas explosion wiped out almost an entire row of houses, with three homes destroyed in the chaos that unfolded.
Incredibly, no one was killed in the blast despite several residents becoming pinned under rubble and furnishings as firefighters scrabbled to rescue them.
The real miracle of the blast was a 12 day old baby called Jason Karmellhi who managed to survive an explosion that tore through his house and left his mother trapped and unable to reach him.
In a front page story from the ECHO, published on August 29, 1985, Jason's mother Susan Karmelli spoke of the moment she thought her tiny baby had died.
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Susan, who was 22 at the time of the incident, became pinned beneath a mountain of rubble for almost an hour after the 4am.
She said: “I was feeding the baby at about 3.45am and heard a big bang from next door. Then the walls started falling in and the ceiling fell on top of me.
“My legs were trapped underneath the iron bedstead and although I was only a yard away from the baby at the time I just could not reach him.”
Fireman Steve Allwood helped lift baby Jason out of the house without a scratch and later told the ECHO: “The baby was lying face down in a tiny gap. If he had been any older than a few days and a little bigger he would have been killed.”
Four other people – including a pregnant mother and a seven-year-old girl also escaped with minor injuries in the blast which completely destroyed three houses in Grinshills Close.
Shock waves from the explosion were felt more than a mile away and dozens of buildings in the area had windows smashed and tiles torn from roofs.
Around 50 firemen raced to the scene after the alarm was raised at 4am and joined neighbours in a desperate search through the rubble for survivors.
With gas still escaping, rescuers risked their own lives and began digging with their bare hands to where they could hear Jason whimpering.
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Station officer Dave Fanning, from High Park Street fire station, said: “It was absolute chaos when we arrived. I have never seen anything like it before.
“People were stumbling around in the dark in their nightclothes like zombies. It is a miracle no one was killed.”
Susan was discovered pinned in bed under the collapsed ceiling. Her baby was about six feet away trapped in a tiny space between the wall and his carrycot.
Seven-year-old Kerry O’Neill also had an amazing escape when a central heating boiler was catapulted out of the airing cupboard and landed on top of her in bed.
Kerry, who lived at number 8, was staying next door with her friend Kathleen Rowson. Kerry’s mother, Mrs Joy Peat, who was seven months pregnant at the time of the incident, said: “I was woken up by this huge bang and suddenly realised it was next door.
“There was nothing of the house left and my first thought was for Kerry. I thought she must be dead and I was hysterical. Amazingly, I suddenly saw her. She was stumbling out of the house. I have never been so relieved in my life.”
The ECHO report from the time also quoted a woman called Eileen Irvine, who described the moment she lit a cigarette and the world blew up around her.
She had just helped Sue Karmellhi put little Jason down to sleep when there was a rumble and an explosion rocked the house.
Eileen, 35, from Glasgow, then found herself dazed and shaken standing on the rafters of the wrecked roof desperately searching for the little boy lost under the rubble.
She could hear his screams, and those of his mother, but was unable to get them from beneath the roof which had trapped them.
Speaking at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after the explosion at the house she recalled the moment she thought she would die.
Eileen said: “Sue had just fed the baby and I was in the from bedroom helping her.
“We heard some dogs barking and a rumble but we did not know what it was. I let a cigarette and then everything went black. I thought I was dead.
“I ended up on the roof and I was trying to find Jason. Both Sue and the baby were screaming and that is how the fireman could locate them.”
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Neighbour Kathleen Rowson, 25, was treated for shock after walking away from her devastated house which is believed to be the seat of the explosion.
She broke down sobbing as she recalled the moment she was in a living nightmare: “I thought I was still asleep and it was all a dream, only it wasn’t.
“I remember going to sleep and then waking up when I felt the roof falling on me. It was a nightmare.
“The girl next door to me had smelled gas the night before but we didn’t realise anything like this would happen.”
The affected area of Grinshills Close was rebuilt and still exists today just off North Hill Street in Toxteth.