Family escape gas blast

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A family was lucky to escape unhurt when a small camping stove canister exploded within a flat in Gelston, near Castle Douglas around 10.40pm on Thursday.

Two adults and a small child managed to escape the flat and met Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews responding to a 999 call from a member of the public.

Station manager Joe Shepherd said: “Firefighters found a small camping gas canister that had exploded in the property, which had caused damage to the kitchen, living room and a bedroom.

“There was no sign of fire but the explosion had brought down plasterboard from the ceiling, damaged an internal wall and dislodged some roof tiles.

“Our crews inspected the property to ensure it was safe and removed the loose roof tiles to prevent further damage.”

After a power cut left the family unable to use their kitchen appliances, the camping stove was placed on top of the cooker and used to finish cooking a meal.

With a ring on the cooker still switched on, the restoration of power to the property caused the gas canister to overheat and explode.

Mr Shepherd added: “As we get into winter severe weather events can see homes lose power, with people tempted to use alternative heating and cooking facilities.

“It is vital everyone is aware of the potential dangers and take steps to ensure they remain safe from fire.

“If you have a power cut please ensure that you switch off any household appliances that may cause damage when the power is switched back on.

“Also if you use alternative lighting, heating or cooking facilities that they are kept away from combustible materials and never left unattended.

“When fire strikes having working smoke alarms can be the difference between life and death.

“Our crews routinely provide potentially life-saving advice to residents who have requested a free home fire safety visit, where long-life battery smoke alarms can be provided and installed completely free of charge.

“If you or someone you know could benefit from this support and reassurance, then please contact us by calling 0800 0731 999 or texting ‘check’ to 61611.”