The moment the fuel crisis got serious

It was exactly the kind of incident that the fire brigade had been worried about.

Shortly after 6pm on Thursday, 46-year-old Diane Hill was cooking dinner in the kitchen of her home Acomb, York. The oven was on and her two daughters Lauren, 23, and Grace, 18, were sitting in the garden.

Exactly what happened next is still uncertain, but it appears that Ms Hill decided to use a break in her cooking to transfer some petrol from a jerry can into a jug to use in her daughter's car.

As she did so fumes from the fuel were ignited by the gas fire in her oven, triggering an explosion which left her in a critical condition in hospital with 40 per cent burns.

Neighbours described Ms Hill running out of the house still on fire as her daughters ran to phone for an ambulance.

Margot Johnston, 86, said she saw a cloud of smoke coming over the hedge.

"I had been gardening and came in to make myself a cup of tea and I was aware of a cloud of smoke. I thought because it was a lovely day that they must be having a barbecue. Then I noticed there was someone in the garden who seemed to be on fire. Diane had obviously got home and started to cook dinner while decanting petrol."

Peter Hudson, spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said paramedics and firefighters arrived there in minutes.

"Her daughter asked her mum for petrol because she had run out. She did not think about the fact the gas cooker was on," he said. "The petrol then went up and she got burnt. Thankfully we were there very quickly."

Ms Hill was taken to Pinderfields Hospital with "serious and significant burns", and was last night said to be in a critical but stable condition.

Mr Hudson warned other members of the public to take extreme care when handling and storing petrol.

"Never bring petrol inside your home," he advised. "Fuel containers must not be stored in living accommodation. If you do smell petrol fumes in a garage, ventilate the area and make sure nobody smokes or turns electrical switches on or off.

"The slightest spark could cause an explosion."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Circles South East Youth Service: Youth Services Volunteer

this is an unpaid voluntary position: Circles South East Youth Service: LOOKIN...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - OTE £30,000+

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading privately owned sp...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...

Recruitment Genius: Logistics Supervisor

£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn