16 Dec 2011
London firefighters have warned people not to leave candles anywhere near air fresheners following an explosion at a pharmacy.
Staff were trying to remove the stench of a dead rat behind units at the back of the pharmacy on Abbey Parade in Merton on Monday, when the accident occurred.
They were unable to find the offending rodent so they lit a scented candle and placed it on the floor.
But when the smell persisted, a pharmacist tried spraying air freshener near the candle, which caused the explosion.
The force of the blast caused a false ceiling to collapse and blew out the front of the shop.
Two fire engines, a fire rescue unit and up to 15 firefighters were called to the scene just after 12.30pm on Monday.
One member of staff was taken to hospital with slight burns to their hands and face, while another worker had to be treated for shock.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Never spray air freshener or deodorant near a candle or naked flame, as we’ve seen here the results can be extremely dangerous.”
Copyright Press Association 2011