Police have launched an investigation after two men were left with serious injuries following a blast at a house in Dingwall.
The “small explosion” occurred at a property on Macrae Crescent on Sunday evening, leaving two men with serious burns to their head, face and body.
Witnesses told how one man was burned down one side of his face and arm.
The pair were taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment to serious injuries following the explosion shortly after 6pm.
A police cordon remained in place around the property today as officers launched an investigation to establish the events leading up to the incident.
A police spokesman said: “The investigation is at an early stage and inquiries are ongoing.”
Speculation that the incident was gas-related was ruled out by engineers from SGN after they isolated the supply and carried out safety checks on the Ross-shire property.
An SGN spokeswoman said: “Our engineers were in attended a property in the Macrae Crescent at the request of the emergency services following reports of an explosion on Sunday evening.
“We isolated the gas supply to the property as a precaution and carried out safety checks.
“The incident was not gas-related and emergency services are continuing to investigate the cause.”
One local resident – who has lived in the street for 50 years – described how he could see flames coming from the kitchen just moments after “a loud bang.”
He said: “I was sitting in the house when I heard a bang, it was quite a loud bang. Five to 10 minutes later, the fire engines came up. I went out and the kitchen was on fire.
“I have been in this house 50 years and never seen this sort of thing before.”
Meanwhile, a fellow resident spoke of the horrific injuries inflicted on the occupants of the house.
He said: “About 6.10pm I heard the smoke alarm and I called the fire brigade. I took a walk up and the guy was standing outside on his phone. All his hair was burnt, the right side of his face and his arm and his t-shirt was all burnt. He was quite badly injured.”
Emergency services raised to the scene after the alarm was raised around 6.10pm on Sunday.
Two fire appliances from Dingwall were sent to the scene alongside police and paramedics following reports of an explosion.
Crews remained onsite for just over an hour extinguishing the fire before leaving the property shortly before 7.30pm.
Local councillor Margaret Paterson said: “It’s been quite a traumatic time for the residents of Macrae Crescent and the surrounding area.”