Two hurt in Bethnal Green lava lamp flat blast


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The Independent Online

Two people were injured when an attempt to create a home-made lava lamp caused an explosion and fire.

A man and a woman suffered minor burns to their hands after the incident at a flat in Bethnal Green, east London.

They were treated by the fire brigade at the scene.

It was later established that the pair, both in their 20s, had been attempting to make their own lava lamps by melting paraffin wax candles in a cooking pan on the hob.

The resulting explosion was so large that it caused a window frame and a large number of bricks to blow out of the ground floor flat on Friday night.

Guy Foster, who heads up London Fire Brigade's fire investigation unit, said: "We believe the pan of melting wax was left unattended and caught fire. The melting wax released paraffin vapours into the flat which were then ignited by the burning wax, causing an explosion."

Bruce Epsly, the brigade's borough commander for Tower Hamlets,said: "My advice is simple: don't try this at home. And if you're using pans on the hob, never, ever leave them unattended as the results can be catastrophic.

"These people were lucky not to have been seriously injured or even killed. Unfortunately thousands of people are seriously hurt in kitchen fires caused by unattended pans each year."