Feeds

Rookie plumber torches £5m mansion

First day on the job goes up in smoke

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A fire which ravaged a £5m Georgian mansion was likely caused by an unfortunate meeting between a plumbing apprentice bearing a blow torch and polystyrene roof installation, The Daily Mail reports.

More than 60 firemen fought the blaze at Kittery Court, in Kingswear, Devon - owned by "Forever Friends" greeting cards millionaire Andrew Brownsword. The house was undergoing a £2m conversion into a luxury hotel when disaster struck on Monday.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service's John Howes explained: "It appears at this stage that this was an unfortunate plumber who was soldering in the roof space of a large building, which was undergoing total renovation. For reasons we don't yet know, the fire has flashed up quickly and gone through the whole of a brand new and very expensive roof.

"Our initial investigations indicate that it was not his fault the flames spread so quickly. We think a blowtorch may have set light to expanded polystyrene foam in the roof space."

Contractors at the site apparently tried to conceal the identity of the culprit, but a neighbour reported: "I heard it was started by a teenager on his first day. You have to feel sorry for the poor lad. He must feel terrible."

The unfortunate rookie is described as "very upset". Brownsword is likewise "heartbroken" and "devastated", a spokesman confirmed, but is also "sure there was no malice involved".

The Daily Mail has pics of the inferno here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.