A Hare Krishna temple in Leicester was evacuated seconds before an explosion almost destroyed the building, according to fire crews.
A religious celebration was being held at the property in Thoresby Street when one of the occupants went to disconnect a gas cylinder being used for cooking.
Leicestershire Fire Service said the man noticed the valve was leaking and got everyone out with moments to spare.
It was a “miracle” no-one was killed, watch manager Bill Smith said.
He said “Most of the guests were in and around a marquee area just outside the building. In the kitchen they had a large LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinder hooked up to a large gas ring.
“After the meal they disconnected the pipe from the cylinder but the cylinder kept leaking.
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Firefighters at Hare Krishna Temple in Leicester
Fire crews initially feared people were trapped inside
“The person who disconnected the cylinder realised the danger of the gas leaking. He ran out and got everybody to run over to the other side of the road.
“Within 30 seconds there was a large explosion. He has no doubt saved the lives of many people with his actions.”
A number of people suffered minor injuries and shock, but nobody was seriously hurt in the blast, which shook nearby homes.