4:00pm Friday 4th July 2014
By Chris Gee
A TEENAGER has died after being engulfed in flames when a fireball ignited during attempts to light a garden chimenea.
Lisa Jones, 19, was badly burned during the incident involving the wood-burning heater and died 11 days later because of her injuries.
The accident has prompted Lancashire Fire and Rescue to issue an urgent warning about using the devices, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Police said the teenager, who was visiting her boyfriend in Chorley, sustained 28 per cent burns when an accelerant was used to try to light the chimenea on Saturday, June 21.
The addition of flammable material created a fireball in the back yard of the terraced house and Miss Jones was caught in the flashback, which set fire to her clothes.
The former hairdressing student was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital and then transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester.
She was treated in a specialist burns unit there for 11 days but died on Wednesday morning.
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A spokesman for Lancashire police, said: “Shortly before 10.30pm police were called by the ambulance service to a report that a teenage girl had received injuries at a house on Duke Street, Chorley.
“It appears that an accelerant was used to try to light a chimenea which caused a flashback and the teenager suffered serious injuries.”
A 19-year-old man from Chorley was interviewed under caution but not arrested and was later released while police conduct further inquiries.
Police said at the moment the incident was being treated as a tragic accident and there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
Miss Jones, from Llanfairfechan, North Wales, was a former hairdressing student at Coleg Llandrillo.
Anita Lewis, hairdressing salon manager at the college's Rhos-on-Sea campus paid tribute to her.
She said: "Lisa was a bright and bubbly girl who was popular with both her classmates and her tutors. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time."
Chimeneas have become a popular garden and deck accessories.
They are used for light and heat and can also be used for cooking meat.
John Taylor, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue, reiterated safety advice for chimeneas and other potentially dangerous garden equipment used in the summer months.
He said: “This is a particularly tragic accident and our condolences go to this young woman’s family and friends.
“This incident is under joint investigation by Lancashire Fire and Rescue and the police.
“I would like to urge people to take precautions when dealing with barbecues and other outside equipment.”
Safety advice about chimeneas and barbecues includes keeping a bucket of water, sand, or a garden hose nearby in case of emergencies and never using petrol or paraffin to start or revive a barbecue.
Advice is to use only recognised lighters or starter fuel, on cold coals.
A file on Miss Jones’ death has been passed to the coroners’ office.
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