Explosion rocks Brandon man's bedroom

A grandmother has told of the terrifying moment her grandson's bedroom was engulfed in a fireball which left him in hospital with severe burns.Rosa White, 93, was asleep in the next door room when she was woken by a massive explosion, flashes of blinding light and the screams of 22-year-old Jans Schafar.

A grandmother has told of the terrifying moment her grandson's bedroom was engulfed in a fireball which left him in hospital with severe burns.

Rosa White, 93, was asleep in the next door room when she was woken by a massive explosion, flashes of blinding light and the screams of 22-year-old Jans Schafar.

The blast, believed to have been caused by an overheated butane lighter fuel canister, was so severe it jammed the door to Jans' room and he had to kick it down to get out, said his grandmother.

The pensioner returned to her home at Heron Avenue, Brandon, on Sunday night after being taken in by neighbours following


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Friday evening's fire.

Mr Schafar underwent surgery to repair the damage to his face and his hands at the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, on Sunday . Mrs White said that although he had been badly hurt he was lucky to have survived the explosion, which left his room a burnt out wreck.

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Visibly shaken by what happened, she said the blast, which was so severe it burnt through electricity and gas cables in the loft, had been the most terrifying moment of her life.

“I was woken by this massive bang and flashes of light,” she said. “I went to see what had happened and heard Jans shouting that he couldn't get out. He was delirious. He told me to call an ambulance - I could see he had suffered horrible burns to his head, face and hands and all his hair had gone.

“He was in a lot of pain - his face was all red and swollen. It was a terrible sight.

“I was just shaking like a leaf - it was such an awful shock. I just remember Jans saying 'nan, call an ambulance, call an ambulance'.

“He went to the front door and sat on the step. The ambulance got here very quickly and when they did he walked over and they began treating him inside.”

Mrs White was trying to clear up the damage to her own bedroom, which suffered scorch damage to the wall and ceiling nearest her grandson's room.

She said that although the fire service was called there was little for them to do as the blast resulted in little lasting fire: “There was just an explosion and all this smoke - it did all this damage but there wasn't any fire afterwards, it was amazing.”

Fire crews from Brandon and Thetford were called to the incident and police said it was not being treated as suspicious.

A police spokesman said the cause of the explosion was thought to be a butane gas cylinder which had become overheated. A number of cylinders were removed from the bungalow. He said the explosion was confined to one bedroom but had burnt through cables in the loft, which had left the property without power for some hours.

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