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Spray can causes explosion in Gravesend home

A home damaged by an explosion in Kilndown, Gravesend
A home damaged by an explosion in Kilndown, Gravesend

A father has said he "must have a guardian angel" after escaping unscathed from an explosion which tore through his Gravesend home.

Reg Geoffrey suffered only a small bruise to his leg in the blast, which shattered windows, and shook walls.

Fire investigators say the explosion was caused by a can of spray adhesive, which had leaked in a kitchen unit, filling the house with vapour which then ignited when the gas cooker was turned on.

Mr Geoffrey, a 39-year-old dad of two, said he had put some chips in the oven at his mid-terrace rented home in Kilndown, before sitting down in his living room when he felt the blast.

"There was this almighty bang and then there was a big fireball rushing through the lounge. Stuff was flying out of the kitchen - a cupboard door got embedded in a chair just a few feet from me.

"If I'd been in the kitchen at the time I would have been a gonner. I must have a guardian angel."

Firefighter Liam Hudson said the explosion had caused "extensive damage" to the house, which is now uninhabitable.

The incident has prompted Kent Fire and Rescue Service to warn residents to take care when using and storing extremely flammable adhesives.

Flammable liquids can give off large volumes of vapours at room temperature, it says, which can ignite violently when mixed with air.

Anyone using them should store them in safety containers in separate storage areas, and use them in a safe place with good ventilation.

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