‘Horrendous’ explosion in Aldington pensioner’s home during storm

A woman from Aldington has described a “horrendous” explosion that happened at her home during Storm Eunice.

June Ferretti, 84, went to stay with her family during the Storm due to a power cut, but she came home to find there had been an explosion in her property on Bank Road.

She first realised there was a power cut on Saturday (February 19) when she tried to use her kitchen hob.

Read More: Family forced to flee home after 7 trees fell in storm causing a fire

After remembering she had an old small butane powered camping stove sitting in her garage, June used the canister to make refreshments in the kitchen before placing it back on the hob and leaving to stay with family.

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But her neighbour got in touch that afternoon to say the power was back on and she could return home, before sending another message informing June of the explosion.

“When I’d left the house, I’d forgotten that the hob was still switched on from when I’d initially tried to use it during the power cut,” June said.

“So when the power came back on, the hob began to heat up – causing the gas canister to explode. It was such a small and simple mistake, with such a horrendous outcome. The windows have completely smashed through, and the blast has caused huge cracks and structural damage throughout the property that may not ever be fixed.

The canister was placed on the hob

“When I put the camping stove on the hob, I thought it would be safe there because it’s out of the way – I just didn’t think the hob would come on because the electrics were off, and you can’t see things clearly when you’re in that situation.

“I just can’t believe that in a matter of minutes, this small canister caused so much damage. Every single room has got cracks around the ceiling.

“My advice to others is to just never do what I did – always keep the hob clear, and check it’s off when you aren’t using it.”

Two fire engines and a height vehicle were sent to the property, and June described the response from crews as “superb”.

Damage caused by the explosion

Since Storm Eunice arrived on Friday (February 18), Kent Fire and Rescue Service has received around 500 weather-related 999 calls, with more than 230 deemed a risk to life and have subsequently required emergency assistance.

Leanne McMahon, KFRS Area Manager of Customer and Building Safety said: “Although the high winds are expected to subside this week, a yellow weather warning remained in place on Monday (21 February), we would like to remind everyone to take care, to follow guidance provided by the Met Office and to consider your call before dialling 999 for the fire service – if there is a threat to life or property call 999.”

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Article Source: Kent Live