Pensioner burned in gas explosion

GRANDAUGHTERS of an 87-year-old woman left burned and badly shocked after an explosion rocked her home, today spoke of their concerns for the pensioner.

GRANDAUGHTERS of an 87-year-old woman left burned and badly shocked after an explosion rocked her home, today spoke of their concerns for the pensioner.

Winifred Webb, was left hospitalised with facial burns yesterday after leaking gas from her oven exploded in her kitchen as she made toast.

Justine Newby, 31, was at her grandmother's home in York Road, Ipswich, with her sister Juanita, 24, clearing up wreckage left by the explosion when she spoke to The Evening Star.

Justine Newby said: “She is in a bit of a bad way. She lost her hair and badly burnt her head and hands. We haven't been able to see her yet. She is a little bit frail but she has looked after herself since her husband died. We are worried what the shock of the explosion will do to her.”

Miss Newby said her family were also stunned by what happened to the pensioner.

She added: “I was at work when my Dad called to tell me she had been taken to hospital after a gas explosion we are all in a state of shock.”

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Inside the terraced home the clean-up operation continues.

Miss Newby said: “There are a lot of things scorched and the ceiling in the kitchen has collapsed.

Assistant Divisional Officer (ASDO) Martyn Thorpe said Mrs Webb had just returned to her home after six weeks of renovations.

He said: “She returned the night before and smelt gas but took no action. She went to make some toast turned on the grill which provided enough spark for the explosion. The gas had built up in sufficient concentration to be flammable.

“Some of the contents of the kitchen melted and the explosion created enough pressure to lift the loft hatch cover off.

“The lady was dealt with by paramedics.”

Mrs Webb was taken to Ipswich Hospital in Heath Road. Her injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

Did you hear the explosion? Are you shocked by this story? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

SUFFOLK Fire Service today issued advice for people concerned about gas leaks.

Assistant Division Officer (ADO) Martyn Thorpe said crews would be visiting neighbours of Mrs Webb to make sure they ventilated their homes and to offer safety checks and advice on gas safety.

He added: “Anyone who wants to have a free home fire safety check should call us on 01473 588888. If you can smell gas or believe a gas appliance may be giving off fumes turn off the gas at the gas meter, open the windows and do not turn any electrical items on or off as that can create a spark. That includes light switches. If you are unable to turn off the gas ring 0800 111999.”

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