Widower, 91, was killed in a devastating home explosion after making a mistake building a countertop
An elderly widower who died in a devastating home explosion made a fatal DIY mistake.
Father of two Frank Burton, 91, was found dead after the “big” explosion at Wythenshawe in south Manchester on March 31 last year.
The death of the retired car mechanic triggered a large-scale operation in which the police, fire brigade and gas workers were stationed in his semi-detached house for several days.
An inquest into his death found that Mr Burton, a widower whose wife Brenda died a decade ago, was cutting a worktop in his kitchen with a power saw when it accidentally “punctured a gas pipe underneath”.
Chief Medical Examiner Nigel Meadows said: “This resulted in a gas leak which ignited causing an explosion and fire which killed the deceased in the kitchen.”
The court heard that Mr Burton died as a result of extensive burns and smoke inhalation, with Mr Meadows concluding that his death was an accident.
A serious incident was reported for a short time following the explosion that completely destroyed Mr Burton’s home.
Several neighbors were evacuated from their homes for several hours.
Eyewitnesses reported hearing a “big” bang that “shook their homes like an earthquake” as the house exploded.
It was initially feared by Mr Burton’s family that he had used a device to help with a cold-weather snap, but the inquest found it had played no role in the blast.
Mr Burton’s brother Philip paid tribute to him, describing him as “good character” and a “good guy”.
Philip previously said: “Frank was in the automotive industry, he did body work and was highly qualified and respected. He was a father of two children.
“This is a guy who once flew over the Grand Canyon in a balloon while he was working. He was an occasional visitor to Las Vegas. I haven’t been able to reach Frank for a while, he was deaf.
“He was deaf from being blown out of bed during the war during The Blitz in Manchester.”
Mr Burton’s son Paul wrote his own heartbreaking tribute to his father, who he said gave him a “great upbringing”.
In a statement issued by police, Paul said his father had lived in the Brownley Road house for 66 years.
He said he grew up in Hulme before moving to Northenden and then to his mother-in-law’s home in Wythenshawe with Brenda.
Paul said: “My father was a little boy of eight when World War II broke out and he survived being bombed twice.”
He said the family would enjoy vacations when Paul was younger, then Paul and his father would travel to the United States together every year after his mother’s death.
Paul added: “To say my father was very artistic was an understatement. He could fix almost anything people gave him – especially broken jewelry.
“When I was little I heard him in his workshop, with the door firmly shut – once a handcrafted life-size Dalek came out.
“I have absolutely no regrets as I can’t say ‘I wish I had done this or that’, I did everything I could for both of my parents and have very, very happy memories of a great upbringing. good night Love from your son, Paul.”
The inquest into Mr Burton’s death was conducted at Manchester Coroners’ Court in November last year.
A record of this proceeding has now been obtained from the Manchester Evening News.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7237269/widower-killed-house-explosion-diy-mistake/ Widower, 91, was killed in a devastating home explosion after making a mistake building a countertop