Chef escapes Codicote pub blast

A PUB chef was left red-faced – quite literally – as he narrowly avoided serious injury following a mishap in his kitchen.

Last week, the village of Codicote was brought to a standstill as firefighters, paramedics and police all rushed to High Street, following reports of a gas explosion at the Rustic Pub Co – formerly The Bell Inn.

The area was cordoned off by police while nearby residents and shopkeepers looked on as the dramatic scene unfolded.

But the reports were slightly wide of the mark – it transpired that pub’s head chef Liam Kerrigan had attempted to light a cooker in the kitchen, unaware there was a build up of gas inside.

The resulting bang caused the kitchen doors to blow open and left Liam, who runs the pub with parents PJ and Carol, with singed hair burns to his face.

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Nevertheless, the 27-year-old made light of his experience – and was even sporting enough to pose for a picture afterwards.

“I’m fine – the only thing that’s damaged is my ego,” Liam joked.

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Liam said the reason for the explosion was down to a faulty thermostat.

Ironically, his parents had just left for France on a recce for new kitchen equipment – including a new cooker – as part of a refit.

“They’d only just landed in France when we told them there’d been a bit of an explosion,” said Liam, an experienced chef who started training at the age of 15.

“They were joking about leaving for five minutes and me trying to blow the place up, but really they more concerned about whether I was ok.”

Although the story had something of a happy ending, ambulance spokesman Gary Sanderson, who attended the scene, said Liam was “very lucky” to escape with just minor burns.

He said: “The initial 999 call stated the kitchen had exploded and a man had been injured.

“Thankfully on our arrival, the man was out of the property and being cared for by work colleagues. He was very lucky indeed to walk away with superficial burns to his face.”

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