She added she saw the family who lived in the house in the street.

The huge event - also known as the World's Fair - could take place on a former industrial land at Ashton Moss, bringing in 20 million visitors

All four defendants, aged between 12 and 17, appeared at Manchester Crown Court.

John Wilson, 63, died in hospital after he was forced to jump from a window in the the terraced house in Curzon Road, Ashton-under-Lyne on Tuesday.

Ashton became a part of the newly formed Metropolitan Borough of Tameside in 1974.[49] In May 2004, a massive fire ravaged the Victorian market hall, and a temporary building called "The Phoenix Market Hall" was built on Old Cross Street on the opposite side of the Old Market hall.[50] Described as the "heart of Ashton", the market was rebuilt and officially opened on 1 December 2008.[51]

Under the Local Government Act 1972, the town's borough status was abolished, and Ashton has, since 1 April 1974, formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester.[1] Ashton-under-Lyne is divided into four wards: Ashton Hurst, Ashton St. Michaels, Ashton St Peters and Ashton Waterloo. As of the 2012 local elections, all twelve seats are held by Labour councillors.[56]

Reverend Karen Hilsden, from Hurst Methodist Church said a vigil will be held at the church on Wednesday evening.

Gas and electricity supplies have been turned off at the house and four neighbouring properties. The roof of the house next door has been badly damaged.

After a 75-year absence, trams returned to Ashton in October 2013,[128] when the Manchester Metrolink tram system opened the East Manchester Line to the town: Ashton-under-Lyne tram stop in the town centre, lies alongside Ashton-under-Lyne bus station and is the terminus for the East Manchester Line, which runs to Manchester Piccadilly station and Manchester city-centre. Away from the town centre towards Manchester there is also Ashton West tram stop and Ashton Moss tram stop.

Ashton-under-Lyne (pop. 43,200) is a market town in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England.[1] The population had increased to 45,198 at the 2011 census.[2] Historically in Lancashire, it is on the north bank of the River Tame, in the foothills of the Pennines, 6.2 miles (10.0 km) east of Manchester.

Amy Binmoor, who lives on Hulme Street about 20 yards (18m) from the house, said people "feel numb" but are "pulling together".

The air is thick with the smell of smoke.

Ashton-under-Lyne Golf ClubGorsey Way, Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, OL6 9HTTELEPHONE 0161 330 1537

"It was like a bomb went off - it woke the whole street.

There is smoke billowing out of what used to be a mid-terraced house - the front and back wall completely destroyed and most of the roof as well.

In 1931, 10.2% of Ashton's population was middle class compared with 14% in England and Wales, and by 1971, this had increased steadily to 17.3% compared with 24% nationally. In the same time frame, there was the decline of the working class population. In 1931, 33.8% were working class compared with 36% in England and Wales; by 1971, this had decreased to 29.2% in Ashton and 26% nationwide. The rest of the population was made up of clerical workers and skilled manual workers.[67]

Police were called to Ashton-under-Lyne town centre at 10.50pm last Wednesday after a report of an assault. When they arrived at the scene, outside a McDonald’s restaurant, officers discovered Moore with a number of injuries to his head and abdomen.

Mr Wilson, a double lung transplant survivor, escaped moments before his house exploded, causing it to collapse at both the front and back.

Mr Ashworth, said: "We had one person who brought a mattress for one of the casualties to get out.

The family of a man who was murdered in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, have paid tribute to him, saying he was harmless and loved by all who knew him.

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"A lot of people heard it, it was quite a big bang."

A woman called Leanne who told the BBC her parents lived in the house said: "My mum and dad got out the window [and my] sister got out on the roof.

Red Volkswagen flipped on side near Deansgate junction


Four boys, one aged 12, have been charged with killing Bradley Moore, who relatives say was loved by all who knew him

“I would also like to appeal to the driver of a Vauxhall Corsa to come forward, who visited McDonald’s at this time and parked his vehicle on Warrington Street, near to the restaurant. I believe he may have information that will assist this investigation.”

"The neighbours showed real community spirit and tremendous bravery to put their own safety at risk to try and help the Wilson family."

He grew up in Stockport, Greater Manchester and has worked in the local newspaper industry for 27 years.

Rob joined Trinity Mirror in 2001 and was editor of the Daily Post North Wales for seven years. He was also publishing director for Trinity Mirror North Wales and Cheshire.

A neighbour is thought to have brought a mattress to break Mr Wilson's fall as he jumped from a window to escape.

His wife Hazel and daughter Danielle were also trapped and suffered "life-changing injuries", firefighters said.

The blast caused the terraced house in Curzon Road, Ashton-under-Lyne to collapse at both the front and back.

Fire service incident commander Alan Ashworth said a man, woman and their adult daughter lived at the property and had dialled 999 after their smoke alarm went off.

DI John Mulvihill, of Greater Manchester police’s major incident team, said: “This is a tragic case and four young people have been charged in connection with Bradley’s murder. Our investigation remains ongoing and I am continuing to appeal for witnesses that were in or around the McDonald’s on Warrington Street at around 10.30pm on Wednesday 27 July to come forward.

Ms Binmoor said she will be attending the vigil to show "people are going to be there for them."

"We were on our way to the fire when the explosion happened," he said.

Sam Armstead, 28, who lives behind the property, said: "An uncontrollable bang, it made you duck, it made me cower. All you saw was a burst of flames coming out of the roof. When I got to the house it was all still intact then it blew out.

Moore’s family said they had struggled to find the words to describe their loss, but that life would not be the same without him and that they would always love him.

Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner praised those living nearby for trying to help the family.

Editor, Manchester Evening News editor-in-chief MEN Media and Trinity Mirror Huddersfield