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Widower, 91, killed in devastating house explosion after making mistake while building worktop

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AN ELDERLY widower who was killed in a devastating house explosion made a fatal DIY error.
Father-of-two Frank Burton, 91, was found dead following the “huge” blast in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, on March 31 last year.
The blast destroyed Frank's house6The blast destroyed Frank’s houseCredit: MEN MediaFrank Burton died in the 'huge' gas explosion6Frank Burton died in the ‘huge’ gas explosionCredit: MEN MediaFranks accidentally cut into a gas pipe with a power saw6Franks accidentally cut into a gas pipe with a power sawCredit: MEN MediaThe retired car mechanic’s death sparked a large-scale emergency response, with police, fire crews and gas workers stationed at his semi-detached house for several days.
An inquest was held at Manchester Coroners’ Court, in November last year.
A record of those proceedings has now been obtained by the Manchester Evening News.
The hearing was told Mr Burton, a widower whose wife Brenda died a decade ago, was cutting a worktop with a power saw in his kitchen when he accidentally “penetrated a gas pipe underneath”.
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Senior coroner Nigel Meadows said: “This led to an escape of gas which ignited and caused an explosion and a fire killing the deceased in the kitchen.”
The court heard Mr Burton died as a result of extensive burns and smoke inhalation, with Mr Meadows concluding his death was accidental.
A major incident was declared for a short time following the blast, which left Mr Burton’s house completely destroyed.
Several neighbours were evacuated from their homes for a number of hours.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a “huge” bang which “shook their houses like an earthquake” as the house exploded.
It was initially feared by Mr Burton’s family that he had been using an appliance to help with a cold weather snap, but the inquest heard that this did not play a part in the explosion.
Paying tribute, Mr Burton’s brother, Philip, described him as a “good character” and a “good guy.”
Philip said previously: “Frank was in the motor industry, he used to do body work and was highly skilled and respected. He was a dad-of-two.
“This is a chap who when he was working once went ballooning over the Grand Canyon. He was an occasional visitor to Las Vegas. I haven’t been able to reach Frank for some time, he was deaf.
“He was deaf because he got blown out of bed during the war during The Blitz in Manchester.”
Mr Burton’s son, Paul, penned his own heartbreaking tribute to his father, who he said gave him a “grand upbringing.”
In a statement issued through police, Paul said his dad had lived in the house on Brownley Road for 66 years.
He said he grew up in Hulme, before moving to Northenden and then to his mother-in-law’s house in Wythenshawe with Brenda.
Paul said: “My dad was a young eight-year-old boy when the Second World War broke out and survived being bombed out twice.”
He said the family would enjoy holidays when Paul was younger, then Paul and his father would travel to the United States together every year after the death of his mother.
Paul added: “Saying that my dad was very artistic was an understatement. He was able to repair almost anything that people gave him – especially broken jewellery. 
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“When I was little, I would hear him in his workshop, with the door firmly closed – once, out came a handmade life-sized Dalek.
“I don’t have any regrets at all, as I can’t say ‘I wished I had done this or that’, I did everything I possibly could for both my parents and have very, very happy memories of a grand upbringing. Goodnight Dad. Love from your son, Paul.”
Frank's son Paul said he was given a 'grand upbringing' by his dad6Frank’s son Paul said he was given a ‘grand upbringing’ by his dadCredit: MEN MediaNeighbours say they heard a 'huge' explosion6Neighbours say they heard a ‘huge’ explosionCredit: MEN MediaFrank's wife Brenda had died ten years previously6Frank’s wife Brenda had died ten years previouslyCredit: MEN Media
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