COUNTY NEWS: Bonfire safety warning after man suffers serious burns

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Firefighters have issued a warning after a man suffered serious burns attempting to use fuel to light a bonfire.

The 50-year-old man is believed to have been using a mix of petrol and diesel to light a bonfire in the Itchenor area of Chichester yesterday morning (September 6), according to fire services.

Vapour or splashes of the fuel mix ignited as he lit the fire, causing serious burns to his hands, arms, the top of his back and the back of his head, according to West Sussex Fire and Rescue.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called to the incident shortly before 11am. The large bonfire was deemed safe and was allowed to carry on burning under supervision.

Chichester watch manager Paul Wykes, who attended the incident, said: “We would like to remind members of the public to remain safe at all times when lighting bonfires.

“In this instance the man had created a large bonfire in a safe manner but has been left with serious injuries from attempting to light the fire with what we believe was a mixture of petrol and diesel.

“If you are having a bonfire you should also ensure you are aware of anything within the fire that could be burned, for example canisters that could explode.”

As well as avoiding the use of accelerants to start a fire, West Sussex Fire and Rescue recommends you:

• Build your bonfire away from sheds, fences and trees.

• Avoid having a bonfire in windy conditions - it increases the likelihood of the fire spreading out of control.

• Don’t leave your bonfire unattended, or leave it to smoulder when you have finished. Always make sure it is fully extinguished.

• Don’t build it too big, and make sure it is stable.

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