A TRAUMATISED Gainsborough man has spoken about his horrific ordeal when a blaze tore through his house.
Paul Fenton, 53, said his Christmas was brought to a premature and abrupt end when a fire broke out following a gas leak.
Emergency services were called to his house on Trinity Street on the evening of Wednesday 22nd December after a fire on the first floor was reported.
Paul was rushed to hospital after suffering severe burns, and had to have skin grafted from one of his legs on to his hand.
“I’m still frightened now,” he said.
Paul said that he had been left traumatised by his near death experience.
“I’m still really shook up,” he continued.
“I have to keep going back to the house to get some things but I don’t like it, I’m still frightened now. I can’t believe that I nearly died and how close I came to shaking hands with my maker.”
Believing that the fire was caused by a gas leak, Paul said that he lit a cigarette before an explosion.
“I knew the gas was off,” he said.
“That was when we were having really frosty mornings and it was during the cold weather. I put £5 onto the meter but when I tried to get the boiler going it wouldn’t ignite, so I went to the Post Office and put another £10 but still nothing was happening, and no gas was going through the meter.”
“So I sat down to watch telly and thought I’d try the landlord in the morning. I was watching television from about 7pm-7.30pm and felt like having a cigarette, and with that everything just went boom.”
He continued: “A flash of light went around the room and the last thing I remember was the TV blowing up. Then I just had to get out of the house.”
Paul added that he could not remember very much of the festive holiday period which he spent in hospital, but would like to thank the good will and generosity of the Salvation Army who have helped him through this difficult period.
“I can’t remember much of Christmas or New Year’s at all,” said Paul. “A nice lady said brought me a Christmas dinner in hospital but I really can’t remember it.”
He added: “I would like to thank the Salvation Army for helping me out throughout this time. They have been really brilliant.
Visit www.hse.gov.uk for information on what gas consumers need to know in order to manage gas appliances safely and what to do in an emergency. The he Health and Safety Executive also has a gas safety advice line on 0800 300 363,