A HEARTBROKEN family has paid tribute to an ‘amazing’ grandpa who was killed in a suspected gas explosion.
Frank Burton, 91, died when his terraced home in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester was being renovated shattered by the massive explosion.
His horrified brother Phil, 71, initially thought both Frank and his eldest son Paul were inside when the Brownley Road disaster struck.
The property caught fire and filled with smoke as all windows were blown out and glass shattered in the street.
Retired DJ Phil has described his brother Frank as “amazing” and a “good old-fashioned geezer” who’s lived life to the fullest.
He said: “I came along when I saw pictures on the internet like it was Frank’s home.
“We all thought it would be all electric but he might have a gas appliance given the current fuel cost situation and need to heat his house.
“I’ve only just found out that Paul has recently moved to Scotland, so that’s a relief.
“His younger brother Mark and his family are with me at the scene but would like people to respect their privacy at this difficult time.
“Frank was an amazing brother and lived a full life. He was an old-fashioned British eccentric, respected in his work, a skilled craftsman who only knew how to do a good job.
“He was diligent, diligent and teetotal. A good old-fashioned Geezer.
“One thing we’re all grateful for is that it came at the end of a successful life.
“It would have been a great tragedy if he was 30 with young children, but he had lived his life to the fullest.
“He once flew over the Grand Canyon in a hot air balloon and loved his trips to Las Vegas.
“Our older brother Norman died at the beginning of the pandemic aged 91 years and five months but it is still a loss when someone dies.
“Unfortunately, Frank lost his wife Brenda to cancer about 12 years ago and he kind of became withdrawn.
“He’s been a one-woman man all his life and I remember him being at their wedding when he was five – they were devoted.
“He was just a boy in South Manchester when he was blown up in the lobby and his eardrums ruptured in an explosion in the Blitz of World War II.
‘GOOD OLD FASHIONED GEEZER’
“One was completely gone, so two people always had to speak out loud for him, until here in recent years he became deaf.
“His life was very well lived and we all loved him. I would hope that I could go the same way. It’s better to burn out almost instantly than just fade away.”
Frank’s granddaughter Georgia Burton, 24, added: “As soon as I heard it had happened I came up the road crying.
“It was my grandfather and he was such a lovely grandfather and will be greatly missed.”
A major investigation was launched last night after the horror explosion that caused a huge hole in the upstairs of the property.
Nearby residents were evacuated and motorists were advised to avoid the area while emergency services rushed to the scene.
Up to 30 firefighters reportedly attended, as well as up to 12 police cars.
Mark Threader, Manchester District Commander for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “As things stand we are in the phase of making the premises secure so that we can carry out investigations.
“GMFRS, GMP and Cadent Gas are working closely to determine what caused the incident.
DI Mark Dixon added: “This was specific to this premises and there is no greater risk to other properties. We remain open and follow up on all questions.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5027965/beloved-grandad-killed-devastating-gas-blast/ Beloved Grandpa, 91, killed in devastating gas explosion that blew house to pieces