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Pub heater set mum on fire in explosion ‘after man poured ethanol on it for a laugh’

A mum left with horrifying injuries after a heater exploded outside a pub has claimed the incident happened when a drunk man poured ethanol on it ‘for a laugh.’

‘Hero’ nurse April Charlesworth shared pictures of her severe burns after she was set on fire when a portable heater exploded in a beer garden.

She had been out celebrating her birthday at the Kings Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk, but was rushed to hospital and put on a ventilator for two days after the blast.

April, 28, and her cousin Ashleigh, were left with severe burns after the portable heater, which was said to have been brought to the pub by a customer, exploded next to them, spraying them with ethanol on April 24.

April Charlesworth
She was left with severe burns after the incident

Now she has claimed that the heater blew up because one man poured more and more ethanol into it “for a laugh”.

She said: “[He] thought it was funny to keep filling the heater up with ethanol. He was in a bit of a drunken state, and we kept telling him not to do it.

“There was another [person] who was stopping him from doing it – but then they went off to the toilet for just a minute, and everything happened so quickly.

“All I remember was my face just being on fire.”

April Charlesworth
She had been out celebrating her birthday

She added: “I haven’t spoken to the guy since who kept pouring ethanol into the heater. I haven’t even had a text or anything to apologise.

“He was able to walk out of hospital after just 36 hours, whereas here I still am 12 days later.”

April said it is going to be a “long journey” to recovery.

She said: “It’s my chest and my face which are the worst. My whole head is still bandaged up.

“Both my hands are still bandaged too, apart from a couple of fingers.

“I’ve had skin donor skin put on my face and my chest, which I’m told is working well. But it’s just a waiting game to see if I’ll need anything more done, like a skin graft.”

April Charlesworth
Police said nobody had been arrested

She added that she has been speaking to her cousin Ashleigh, who was also injured, most days, and they are supporting each other through their recovery.

It was also claimed that she was saved from the fire after someone threw a bottle of wine over her.

The mum-of-one from Sudbury, Suffolk, said that somebody ‘chucked a bottle of wine over me’ before she was taken to the toilet to have water splashed on her.

Meanwhile, her cousin Ashleigh is still in Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, where she spent two days on a ventilator.

Ashleigh has had skin grafts taken from her legs to treat the burns to her hands – but is still waiting to hear whether she requires surgery on her badly-burned face.

Suffolk Police said no arrests had been made, but a man has been voluntarily interviewed regarding the incident.

A spokesman said: “The two females remain in hospital receiving treatment for their injuries.

“Their condition is described as stable and their injuries are life-changing.

“One of them is at Broomfield, Chelmsford and the other is at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

“No arrests have been made or charges. However, a man has been interviewed voluntarily regarding the incident.

“Enquiries are ongoing in regards to the circumstances.”



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