Woman seriously injured leaping from burning home after barbecue sparks explosion

Woman serious injured leaping from burning home after barbecue sparks explosion

Woman serious injured leaping from burning home after barbecue sparks explosion

First published in News
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A woman who leapt 20ft from her burning home had to be taken to hospital after she slipped and landed on her head and back.

An explosion tore through six flats in King Edward Avenue, Worthing yesterday afternoon.

Schoolboy Billy Hilton ran into the smoke-filled building to alert people inside after hearing a “massive bang” as he cycled past with friend Natalie Mills at about 5.20pm.

Neighbours said one resident of the flats, thought to be owned by social housing firm Worthing Homes, was having a barbecue on his balcony, next to a gas boiler, when the explosion happened.

Two women were forced to jump from their burning flats' balconies after being trapped by smoke and flames. Eye-witnesses said the first woman “jumped out fine” but the second slipped and fell.

Billy, a 13-year-old pupil at Worthing High School, said: “I was riding on my bike and I heard the big bang and saw a load of smoke coming from the building.“I ran up to it and there was people shouting and coming out of the building. I ran inside and banged on the doors to try and get them out.

“I think I managed to knock on around eight doors but some people had to jump out the window. When I got downstairs I saw one of the people jump.

“She fell on her back and hit her head on the pavement. She was crying really badly.”

Natalie, eight, added: “We were cycling around the street and then we heard the big bang. It was scary and I was frightened, but then Billy went into the flats.

“I was screaming at him to get out because I was scared something would happen.”Billy's stepmother Amy Whybrow, 29, said: “He has asthma so he's lucky he didn't inhale too much smoke. It was brave.”

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance landed in nearby Kitty's Field.

An eyewitness who lives next door to the building said the explosion was caused by a man who had a barbecue on his balcony.The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “He was having it next to some kind of boiler and it exploded.

“It looked nasty because the first woman jumped out fine, but the second one looked like she slipped and fell. I think that's why the air ambulance came as she hurt her back quite badly.

“I hope she is going to be ok.”

Another neighbour said: "It was billowing out with thick black smoke. I didn't see flames, just smoke.

“The lady who owned the flat was pretty distraught. She has a little baby but they're being treated by the Redcross."

Fire crews, police, paramedics and the British Red Cross all arrived at the scene shortly after 5.30pm.

A volunteer for the Red Cross said: “We are here to make sure people are safe and have support.”

Engineers from Southern Gas Networks worked to make the scene safe yesterday evening. A spokeswoman from West Sussex Fire and Rescue said an investigation is being carried out to establish the cause of the fire.

She added: “One person was treated by South East Coast Ambulance for injuries at the scene and has been conveyed to hospital for further treatment.”

Comments (14)

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6:54am Mon 14 Apr 14

twonk says...

A barbecue? Madness.
A barbecue? Madness. twonk
  • Score: 31

7:13am Mon 14 Apr 14

monkeymoo says...

'having a barbecue on his balcony, next to a gas boiler'

This says it all really....... the pure stupidity of some people.
Could easily have caused the deaths of many in the building.
'having a barbecue on his balcony, next to a gas boiler' This says it all really....... the pure stupidity of some people. Could easily have caused the deaths of many in the building. monkeymoo
  • Score: 54

7:53am Mon 14 Apr 14

NickBrt says...

Will the moron who started the BBQ be held to account? Or just given a home makeover?
Will the moron who started the BBQ be held to account? Or just given a home makeover? NickBrt
  • Score: 33

8:59am Mon 14 Apr 14

hey mongo says...

No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt
No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt hey mongo
  • Score: 27

9:42am Mon 14 Apr 14

Spooky Sue says...

I would be curious to know if this is the same block of flats where last summer there was a big hoo haa by the residents about a swimming pool. Some residents erected a large temporary swimming pool in the communal gardens which are not fenced off from the road or pavements, and then got grumpy when their landlord Worthing Homes rightly told them to remove it on health and safety grounds. If you want barbecues and swimming pools might I suggest you go on the housing transfer list and perhaps get a different property with your own gardens to do what you want safely.
I would be curious to know if this is the same block of flats where last summer there was a big hoo haa by the residents about a swimming pool. Some residents erected a large temporary swimming pool in the communal gardens which are not fenced off from the road or pavements, and then got grumpy when their landlord Worthing Homes rightly told them to remove it on health and safety grounds. If you want barbecues and swimming pools might I suggest you go on the housing transfer list and perhaps get a different property with your own gardens to do what you want safely. Spooky Sue
  • Score: 24

9:48am Mon 14 Apr 14

Andy R says...

hey mongo wrote:
No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt
.....and the point of leaving a public asset in the state it's currently in would be.....what......exa
ctly?


Doh.........
[quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt[/p][/quote].....and the point of leaving a public asset in the state it's currently in would be.....what......exa ctly? Doh......... Andy R
  • Score: -24

10:05am Mon 14 Apr 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Why are people jumping from balconies when it's a legal requirement to have fire escapes on all properties?! Were they on the same balcony where there was a BBQ? This article isn't at all clear.
Why are people jumping from balconies when it's a legal requirement to have fire escapes on all properties?! Were they on the same balcony where there was a BBQ? This article isn't at all clear. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -3

10:33am Mon 14 Apr 14

monkeymoo says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
Why are people jumping from balconies when it's a legal requirement to have fire escapes on all properties?! Were they on the same balcony where there was a BBQ? This article isn't at all clear.
It is NOT a legal requirement to have a fire escape on all properties.
When is the last time you saw fire escapes on high rise buildings, or private houses / bungalows!?

However, It IS a legal requirement to have a SAFE MEANS OF ESCAPE.
This could simply be, staying put in your flat (if the fire is in another flat), and wait for the Fire Service to extinguish the blaze, or lead you to safety.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: Why are people jumping from balconies when it's a legal requirement to have fire escapes on all properties?! Were they on the same balcony where there was a BBQ? This article isn't at all clear.[/p][/quote]It is NOT a legal requirement to have a fire escape on all properties. When is the last time you saw fire escapes on high rise buildings, or private houses / bungalows!? However, It IS a legal requirement to have a SAFE MEANS OF ESCAPE. This could simply be, staying put in your flat (if the fire is in another flat), and wait for the Fire Service to extinguish the blaze, or lead you to safety. monkeymoo
  • Score: 7

10:34am Mon 14 Apr 14

Getreal you lot says...

What a waste of sausages....probably happy shoppers ones anyway.
What a waste of sausages....probably happy shoppers ones anyway. Getreal you lot
  • Score: 6

11:04am Mon 14 Apr 14

redwing says...

hey mongo wrote:
No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt
No, it'll be the pool of rents that cover it - that is if the government has left enough after raiding the rents to keep taxes low, which is exactly what they've been doing for decades, leaving much social housing in tatters.
[quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt[/p][/quote]No, it'll be the pool of rents that cover it - that is if the government has left enough after raiding the rents to keep taxes low, which is exactly what they've been doing for decades, leaving much social housing in tatters. redwing
  • Score: -10

1:40pm Mon 14 Apr 14

scuba1 says...

What a brave and clever young lad , he deserves a medal !
What a brave and clever young lad , he deserves a medal ! scuba1
  • Score: 14

3:36pm Mon 14 Apr 14

MzEden1 says...

A woman is seriously injured, a mother & baby put in danger, a very brave lad puts his life at risk to warn others and you lot are whinging on about who's going to pay for the repairs!?!

Having been a victim of a fire in a block of flats I know how scary it can be. It stays with you for a while.
I hope everyone makes a full recovery, mentally and physically.

I bet Billy's mum is very proud of him.
A woman is seriously injured, a mother & baby put in danger, a very brave lad puts his life at risk to warn others and you lot are whinging on about who's going to pay for the repairs!?! Having been a victim of a fire in a block of flats I know how scary it can be. It stays with you for a while. I hope everyone makes a full recovery, mentally and physically. I bet Billy's mum is very proud of him. MzEden1
  • Score: 11

4:29pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Mr chock says...

hey mongo wrote:
No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt
and maybe they will have a little party on the balcony to celebrate ? "cakes and volovants ? or a bbq in a space the size of a picnic table ... LOL .. i am please no one was hurt , it looks so so so daft reminds me of the only fools and horses balcony . was tiny but when they got out there WOW it was so big.. maybe thats what the resident thought of there balconie ..
WELL DONE Schoolboy Billy Hilton .. some might have just gone past laughing
[quote][p][bold]hey mongo[/bold] wrote: No doubt the taxpayer will pay for his flat to be fully refurbed nice new kitchen and bathroom no doubt[/p][/quote]and maybe they will have a little party on the balcony to celebrate ? "cakes and volovants ? or a bbq in a space the size of a picnic table ... LOL .. i am please no one was hurt , it looks so so so daft reminds me of the only fools and horses balcony . was tiny but when they got out there WOW it was so big.. maybe thats what the resident thought of there balconie .. WELL DONE Schoolboy Billy Hilton .. some might have just gone past laughing Mr chock
  • Score: -2

8:03am Tue 15 Apr 14

monkeymoo says...

Uwho99....
...Typical internet troll.
A little kid trying to get a reaction....Just ignore the fool.
Uwho99.... ...Typical internet troll. A little kid trying to get a reaction....Just ignore the fool. monkeymoo
  • Score: -1

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