back to article Rookie plumber torches £5m mansion

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 …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The owner *had* my sympathy until..

    ...until I saw that it was the man responsible for those horrid tubby teddy bears on greetings cards. Gah ! I really can't stand them at all, and they dominate every greeting-card giving event. I'm imagining an enormous teddy bear from the front of his cards, on fire and melting.

    Feel gutted for the plumber though, could be career-limiting mistake.

  2. Leo Rampen


    Is there not legislation requiring fireproof or fire retardant foam and insulation to be used in roof spaces? Surely we should be thanking this guy for bringing the issue to light (no pun intended) before the house burnt down from other reasons, potentially killing many, many people.

  3. Nick


    One might go as far as to suggest the poor lad was 'Gutted'.

  4. amanfromMars

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

    Or how about banning blowtorches in Lofted Spaces? :-)

  5. Kevin Hughes

    New Idea...

    How long till he's got a new range of "I'm sorry your house burnt down" cards :)

  6. amanfromMars

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

    Or how about banning blowtorches in Lofted Spaces? :-) And, of course, there is always More Broad Banding for more permanent Bonding.

    AIMen on a MISISterious Transparent Mission. C++LOGgies at Play with MS Destiny....... Desktop Nations to be Planned and Played RealTime on the Screen of the Server in a Source Feed from HDCodeXXXX.......The Core of All IT Matters. The Drivers Drivers.

    An InSatiable Passion.

  7. Mike VandeVelde


    amanfromMars - can I have some of those meds too please? so that I can have a chance of understanding your brain twisting prose? how on earth do you get that raving past the moderator?? maybe it's some kind of spook code?? is the plan for the next terrorist attack in there somewhere? what are you on about man?!?!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Wish you were here" ?

    Sorry, but I can't help but laugh. I feel sorry for the guy, and I feel sorry for the owner. But it's still funny.

  9. jubtastic1


    To the daily Mail -1 cookie.

    I know a plumber who connected mains water to the gas supply in an old house once, turning on the stove burners created a water feature in the kitchen, how they laughed.

  10. Tim

    Martian - no! It's RoTM

    The Martian is a robot - it uses semantic linking of some kind to create almost-cogent writing. You used to see it on Usenet a fair bit.

    (It's really disconcerting for humans to read because you have gramatically correct sentences that go nowhere - kinda like Grandpa Simpson's reminiscences on acid. I reckon it'd be quite useful as a way of sending interrogation suspects mad; like verbal water torture.)

    I can't answer how it gets past the moderators. Come on El Reg - the Machines are bringing the war to you and you won't fight!

  11. Philip J.F. Quinlan

    RE: Linking

    Came across a similar scenario once when two different plumbing firms were used building an apartment block, the first fix plumbers connected the gas and the water mains, however since the water was installed and tested before the gas appliances were fitted (purchasers chose their own gas appliances) all the plasterwork in a 7 story building had to be reefed out and redone, my how we laughed. Ahh overtime, you miss it sometimes.

  12. Steve McKinty

    Not the first time

    Back in 1987 a similar thing happened at a shopping centre in Bangor, NI. A plumber working in a storeroom set his blowtorch down for a moment, and set fire to a crate of tea. By the time he got back with an extinguisher the whole storeroom was alight.

    The manager of the supermarket there said it was one of the most frightening things he'd ever seen. Even as he was helping people to evacuate, the fire was spreading down the aisles at walking speed.

    18 fire engines couldn't save £10m (at 1987 prices) worth of shopping centre. The plumbing company apparently only had £1m liability insurance (probably seemed enough at the time), and the centre was never rebuilt. The site was finally redevoped as a retail park many years later.

  13. Bren Flibig

    Buildings made of strike-anywhere matches?

    WTF are they making those buildings out of to burn so fast?

    FirePROOF is not reasonable, but some moderate degree of fire resistance ought to be required for building materials. Even with wood, it takes a fair blast with a plumbing torch to start a bit on fire, and it doesn't burn that fast until you have a good-sized blaze.

    This is, after all, one of the reasons drywall (gypsum board, or whatever they call it in Britain) and fiberglass insulation are so common - they don't burn, and they are cheap. I suppose if you're spending that much money on a house, it buys you the right to use even cheaper materials, regardless of safety?

This topic is closed for new posts.