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Narrow escape after fireball engulfs home

PUBLISHED: 17:02 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:47 23 August 2010

A 39-YEAR-OLD man miraculously escaped injury when an explosion and fireball tore through his home. Reg Jeffery came home from work to cook dinner and watch television when the blaze started at his home in Kilndown, Hever Court Farm, Gravesend. As fire

A 39-YEAR-OLD man miraculously escaped injury when an explosion and fireball tore through his home.

Reg Jeffery came home from work to cook dinner and watch television when the blaze started at his home in Kilndown, Hever Court Farm, Gravesend.

As fire raged under the sink, stunned Mr Jeffery staggered into the kitchen and managed to throw a bucket of water on the flames.

He said: "I'd not long been home from work. I put some chips in the oven and sat down on the sofa with a cup of coffee to watch television.

"Next thing I knew there was huge explosion and a big fireball which went right through. Everything was just blown everywhere."

A neighbour called firefighters from Thameside to his two-bedroom, mid-terraced home. They isolated gas and electricity supplies and quickly put out the fire while paramedics treated him for shock.

It is thought a leaking can of spray adhesive caused the blaze at 7pm last Thursday, filling the house with vapour which ignited when the gas cooker was turned on.

Mr Jeffery said he was lucky to escape injury and that if it had been later in the week his two daughters, Sophie and Ashleigh, would have been there as well for their usual weekend visit.

The former RAF officer added: "I did not smell anything when I came home. When I put some flooring down the adhesive really stank, it was really pungent."

Station manager Liam Hudson, who attended the incident, said the explosion blew out front and back double-glazed windows downstairs. Main structural damage was upstairs where walls and ceilings were badly affected.

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