Serious burns for man after gas explosion at Gosport home

REPAIRS Windows are boarded up after the explosion in Elson Road, Gosport
REPAIRS Windows are boarded up after the explosion in Elson Road, Gosport
Picture: Steve Lewis

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A WOMAN has spoken of the moment a gas explosion at her home caused substantial damage and left her husband with serious burns.

Paul Pilbeam, 64, was taken to hospital early yesterday morning after an explosion in the kitchen of his home in Elson Road in Gosport, which blew the windows out.

Police believe that there was a problem with the kitchen cooker which Mr Pilbeam had tried to light.

Christine Pilbeam, 60, was asleep upstairs when the explosion woke her and she managed to escape from the property unhurt.

She said: ‘We don’t know what happened but I think the cooker was left on.

‘It’s a shock but fortunately where I sleep, it’s not been touched.

‘It just went straight through from the back to the front of the house.

‘I don’t know how he got burnt or what he was doing. They are keeping him in, he goes in quite often anyway.

‘It’s not life-threatening so he’s going to be okay. But it is a very difficult situation.’

Mr Pilbeam lives in the property with his wife Christine, although they are separated and sleep in separate bedrooms.

His daughter and three grandchildren live next door but their house was not damaged.

Firefighters were called at 2.20am and engineers from Southern Gas yesterday boarded up the home’s windows.

Mr Pilbeam’s injuries are understood to be serious but not life-threatening.

He was led out of the building by firefighters and taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham before being transferred to the specialist burns unit at Odstock Hospital in Salisbury.

Margaret Neal, 73, who lives opposite, said: ‘I was woken up with the flashing lights shining. I looked out of the window and it looked like workmen.

‘I wondered what was going on. I’m quite shocked, he’s a nice guy.’

Julie Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘The casualty was escorted out of the property.

‘We helped him out.’