Bunsen burner sparks blaze

A FEW morning chores yesterday nearly turned into disaster for Coffs Harbour resident Grant Williamson.

The 56-year-old was using a Bunsen burner in his Scarba Street shed to melt rope ends so they wouldn't fray, and thought he'd turned it off when he went to the toilet.

“I heard a popping noise and thought it was coming from the childcare centre next door,” Grant said.

“There was more popping and it was louder, and the dog ran out the door.

“I saw smoke billowing from under the roof of the shed, and looked inside to see a wall of flame.”

Grant flicked off the power in his shed and used a garden hose to douse the flames, slipping over in the process. “The smoke was acrid, so I had to get down underneath it when I was attacking the fire,” he said.

“I reckon another 15 to 30 seconds and I wouldn't have controlled it. By the time the firefighters made it, it would have been gone.”

Grant is certain the Bunsen burner, which has been slow to turn off in the past, started the fire when it probably fell onto the floor. “I always make sure it's off,” he said.

Paramedics treated Grant at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.



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