Fire after man smokes and pours petrol

A ST NEOTS man is lucky to be alive, after smoking a cigarette while pouring petrol into a jerry can. The young man was standing in an outbuilding, joined to his home in Nasby Gardens, St Neots at about 5pm yesterday , when the petrol fumes caught light and caused an explosion.

A ST NEOTS man is lucky to be alive, after smoking a cigarette while pouring petrol into a jerry can.

The young man was standing in an outbuilding, joined to his home in Nasby Gardens, St Neots at about 5pm yesterday , when the petrol fumes caught light and caused an explosion.

Despite being engulfed by a fireball, he miraculously escaped unharmed and managed to attract the attention of his mother who dialled 999.

Two crews from St Neots attended the scene to find one outbuilding, measuring about 3m by 2m well alight. The fire had spread to the wall of the main house, which contained the mains gas and electric supply.


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Firefighters isolated the gas and electric and got to work tackling the blaze with four breathing apparatus and two hose reels.

The outhouse was totally destroyed by the fire, as was a motorbike and garden furniture stored inside. The house received smoke damage throughout, and fire damage to the adjoining wall, as well as the main electricity and gas feed.

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The crew returned to base at around 6.30pm.

Vernon Payne, watch manager at St Neots, said: “To smoke while handling petrol is extremely dangerous, especially in such a confined area.

“It is nothing short of miraculous that this man managed to escape without sustaining any injuries.

“He received no burns whatsoever after being totally engulfed by flames. He is a very lucky man indeed.

“This incident should serve as a warning to others about the dangers of handling a cigarette or any other naked flame around petrol.”

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