Explosion razes trailer home to the ground

PUBLISHED: 11:53 09 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:44 15 June 2010

A 16-YEAR-OLD girl was lucky to escape with her life when her home burst into flames because of a modified gas cylinder.

A 16-YEAR-OLD girl was lucky to escape with her life when her home burst into flames because of a modified gas cylinder. Travellers Chloe Roberts and partner Aaron Vincent, also 16, based at Shute Woods, have been left homeless in the run-up to Christmas after their trailer burned to the ground.Chloe had just visited a neighbour when she heard a loud bang at 5.30pm on December 1. She ran outside to see the £500 trailer they had only bought a month ago on fire.She said: "I had been there only about five minutes before. I heard a bang which sounded very close - then saw a lot of smoke and light. I was screaming and crying when I saw it on fire."I could see everything inside covered in flames and thought there was nothing I could do. I dragged electric cables and other things away - I didn't know what to do. I was very hard."It's the worst thing to see everything you've created being destroyed. But, I guess, I'm lucky to be alive."The couple say they had items worth up to £2,000 lost in the fire, including sentimental things which can never be replaced.Chloe, who has been based at Shute for five months, said: "We have just lost everything - and some things that can't be replaced. I have photos, including the only one I had of my grandfather, gone. I'm devastated."And it was very bad timing with Christmas coming up. It won't be as good as it could be."Aaron, who sells the Big Issue in Axminster, said such burners were always a risk. Only six months ago he escaped a similar fire. He recognised he had a second lucky escape. He said: "It could have happened any time - at least all of us and the animals are safe."The couple, who alternate between staying with friends and family, say they have to start from scratch. They said they would be grateful for any help - such as hand-me- down items. Chloe wanted to thank a cyclist who stopped to help. She said: "We are very grateful for what he did."Firefighter commander in charge Peter Collins said: "It was very lucky nobody was hurt. It was a dangerous situation when we first arrived because of confused information. "The LPG gas cylinder was in fact an old modified one made into a wood burner stove, which was the cause of the fire. We knew the trailer would be lost but we had to call for an extra appliance for a water carrier to make it safe and get close."He warned people that in such events they should focus on protecting themselves - and not return to the property to retrieve goods or tackle the fire.He said: "Turn off the power supply, close the door, but don't try to do any fire fighting. All property, including mobile property, needs smoke detection inside and anybody is welcome to a free home safety inspection."I would emphasise that anything like a wood burner added to a property has got to be tested and passed out in accordance with regulations.

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