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Grandpa injured in Chadwell Heath shop explosion

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 January 2017

Stephen Bourne is recovering with his wife Francess after being cauught in a gas explosion at Padnall Stores.

Stephen Bourne is recovering with his wife Francess after being cauught in a gas explosion at Padnall Stores.

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A grandad has been left “in shock” after he was engulfed by a fireball while queuing in an off-licence.

The store is closed until further notice.The store is closed until further notice.

Pensioner Stephen Bourne, 67, was waiting his turn in Padnall Stores, Chadwell Heath, when a series of explosions began to rip through the shop after 3pm on Friday.

After hearing a “massive great bang”, Stephen moved towards the source of the sound by the counter – only to be struck by a ball of flames.

“It was like in Indiana Jones, when you see a ball of fire coming through a tunnel, it came from nowhere,” explained Stephen.

He fled the shop across Padnall Road with the shop assistant and another remaining customer close behind him.

His face stinging, Stephen watched on helplessly with his wife Francess, 65, as three further explosions blew out the store’s windows and dislodged half the shop front.

“I’m still in shock,” admitted Stephen, who was treated in Queen’s Hospital, Romford, for flash burns. “It’s surreal really,” he told the Post days after his ordeal.

“You don’t expect for that to happen when you go to the shops.”

A London Fire Brigade spokesman confirmed the fire was caused by an electric fan heater that was too close to stored butane canisters.


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