A man has died after a large explosion tore through a house in Edinburgh. 

Emergency services were called to a property which had been blown apart by the blast in the Baberton area of the city at about 22:30 on Friday night.

Two people, a 43-year-old woman and 54-year-old man, were rescued from the debris and taken to hospital.

Police said this morning that an 84-year-old died following the explosion. He has been named locally as James Smith, though this has not been confirmed. 

Images from the scene show the building, part of a terrace, has been completely destroyed. Police and emergency services are asking people to avoid the area. 

One eyewitness said the area outside the house at Baberton Mains Avenue was strewn with rubble and there was a smell of gas. 

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The fire service said two people had been rescued from the building. 

The Herald:

A police cordon remained around the street this morning . 

Alison Broadhurst, 26, told BBC Scotland News she was getting ready for bed in her home a street away when there was a huge bang that shook her house. 

"I thought something had hit the roof of my house, it was terrifying," she said. 

"I went downstairs into the street and all the car alarms were going off." 

She said she walked around the corner and saw that a house had been destroyed. 

"I think it was a semi-detached house. I could smell gas and then I could hear the sirens of the emergency services getting closer and closer," she said. 

"They have now cordoned off the road and said they couldn't confirm if it had been a gas explosion. 

"I could see rubble everywhere and loft debris. And I heard people saying they thought cars had been damaged in the street behind the house." 

A fundraising effort has been launched by local man Ross Aitchison on Gofundme to support the family. 

The Herald:

READ MORE: Boy, 12, taken to hospital following 'explosion'

Police Scotland said: “An 84-year-old man has died following an explosion at a house in Baberton Mains Avenue in Edinburgh.

"Officers received multiple reports following the incident around 10.25pm on Friday, 1 December, 2023.

"Emergency services attended and a 43-year-old woman and 54-year-old man were taken to hospital for treatment.

"Several properties were evacuated as a precaution and the road remains closed.

"There are no suspicious circumstances and we are continuing to work alongside our partner agencies."

The Herald:

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 10.26pm on Friday, 1 December, to reports of a gas explosion affecting two residential properties on Baberton Mains Avenue, Edinburgh.

“Operations Control mobilised five fire appliances and specialist resources to the scene. 

“Two casualties were rescued prior to our attendance. Crews have now left the scene.”