Using heat gun starts fire

Volunteer firefighters lift roofing iron to check the fire is extinguished yesterday.
Volunteer firefighters lift roofing iron to check the fire is extinguished yesterday.
Renovations are back at square one after the bathroom of this Kaka Point home caught fire...
Renovations are back at square one after the bathroom of this Kaka Point home caught fire yesterday afternoon. Photos by Helena de Reus.

A Kaka Point man has been put off home renovations after his paint-stripping heat gun set his bathroom on fire yesterday afternoon.

Homeowner Alan Hughes was mowing his lawn when he found the bathroom on fire, and called emergency services.

''I ran in there and threw water at the flames - then I decided I should call the fire brigade.''

Kaka Point Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Lyndon Cross said firefighters arrived at the blaze shortly after 3pm. The fire began in the bathroom and was contained to that room.

He said it was fortunate the fire brigade arrived before the fire could spread.

It appeared the fire was started in the bathroom's window-sill, from which Mr Hughes had been stripping paint.

''I was using this paint-stripper gun for the first time - it heats the paint, making it lift up easier. I won't be using it again,'' Mr Hughes said.

He was renovating his bathroom and had finished stripping paint from that part of the room. He turned off the heat gun, unplugged it, and carried on with outside jobs.

''It must have started burning, the wood underneath the paint, for quite a while before I discovered it. I was really lucky.''

He said he was thankful the rest of the house was undamaged, despite reeking of smoke.

The incident has taken the shine off DIY work, and Mr Hughes said he planned to pay someone to finish renovating the bathroom.

-helena.dereus@odt.co.nz

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