Insect bomb played role in renovated home explosion

Avenell Heights couple flee home after explosion
Avenell Heights couple flee home after explosion

THEY'D already spent about $60,000 and invested nine months work into the renovation of their Lovejoy St home.

But the Avenell Heights house will need a lot more fixing up after an explosion, triggered by and electrical fault and fuelled by an insect bomb, destroyed two rooms on Sunday.

Gary Collins was inside with his dog Rocket about 5.45pm when the whole house shook. His wife Karen was outside watering the garden. Luckily no one was injured.

"We're renovating an old house and I'm assuming what happened... was the old met the new and the old won out," Mr Collins said.

"Our bathroom exploded. The hot water system goes in next week because it's no good. I'm assuming that's probably what has exploded and it's taken out the hallway, the bathroom and the kitchen as well.

"It was just a big noise; it shook everything inside the house to the point where the walls are on a fair lean.

"The kitchen cupboards have been blown off the kitchen walls and all the appliances have gone on to the floor.

"The ceiling's been lifted and 40% of the walls inside are now free standing."

After speaking the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) personnel who inspected the house, Mr Collins said one section of the old wiring still to be replaced appeared to be the cause.

"I turned to gas on - the gas has been all up-graded - but when I turned it on something up the top they said, the electrical part of it, just clicked and that was it," he said.

QFES's Darren Kelly said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus first entered the home Sunday afternoon.

"Two rooms were structurally damaged caused possibly from faulty wiring," he said.

"It's a combination of things. A combination of fumes the insect bomb possibly gave off and a possibility of faulty wiring in the ceiling and naked flame from the stove. That may have caused the explosion."

Insect bombs release a chemical residue and while the Collins did the right thing and left the house while the bomb released, Mr Kelly said it appeared the insect bomb wasn't the cause but it added to it.

Safety advice for using insect bombs includes turning off all ignition sources, and unplugging appliances that may cycle on and off, and could cause a spark.

Mr Kelly said the situation was extremely unlucky but the Collins were lucky not to be injured.

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