One person has died after an “inferno” at a block of flats in Bedford following a suspected gas explosion.
Authorities fear more people may have lost their lives in the blaze on Redwood Grove.
Earlier it was announced three people, including a firefighter, had been injured.
Two of them suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to Bedford Hospital South Wing, while a third sustained leg injuries and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
The firefighter was one of those hurt by smoke inhalation, said the East of England Ambulance Service, as fire teams described the blaze at the block of 20 flats as a “major incident”.
It has been reported that there was no main gas going into the property.
But firefighters investigating the cause of the blaze say their “working assumption is around gas” and they “can’t rule out a heating stove”.
Bedfordshire Police Chief Superintendent John Murphy said it is possible more deaths will be discovered in the coming days as emergency services search the scene.
“Very sadly we know that at least one person has passed away in the explosion today,” Mr Murphy said.
“There is a possibility that there will be more fatalities discovered in the coming days as we continue to search through the scene and a number of people, as my colleague from the fire services has identified, were injured as well today.”