A tragic grandfather who was killed in a huge fireball while he carried out DIY on his home was named by neighbours today (Wed).
Market trader Avtar Dhensa, 49, was named by residents as the victim who died while working on his £200,000 detached home on Tuesday (5/1) afternoon.
Rescue teams, including 18 firefighters, an air ambulance and police, dashed to the property on Rylands Drive, in Penn, Wolverhampton, West Mids., at 3.15pm.
The freak accident happened one mile away from a huge gas explosion which destroyed the home of pensioner Wendy Ayoub, 73, who was saved by her washing machine.
Fire investigators have ruled out the cause of Tuesday’s tragedy and are speculating that Mr Dhensa died while carrying out DIY work on the front room of the house.
Mr Dhensa, who worked as a market trader until being forced to give up work due after injuring his leg, had two grown-up daughters and a grown-up son.
Neighbours also said he had several young grandchildren.
Mr Dhensa leaves behind wife Jaspal, 54, an assistant manager at Woodlands Quaker Care Home.
Neighbours yesterday expressed their shock at Mr Dhensa’s death.
Frances Pearce, 76, said: “I have lived here for 15 years and the Dhensa family have always lived there as far as I can remember.
“Avtar used to own a white van which had clothes in, when he used to work at the market stalls selling clothes.
“His wife Jaspal works at a Quaker home.
“I think it’s just him and his wife living there as their two daughters and son have all moved away now.
“One daughter lives in America.
“It’s so tragic. I’ve heard rumours it was a DIY disaster but I’m not too sure.
“I saw a skip being delivered on Tuesday morning, but I went to another neighbour’s funeral in the afternoon so I didn’t see anything else.
“By the time I came back in the evening, there was a police cordon and I couldn’t get to my house.
“I didn’t get to sleep until 3am in the end.
“I didn’t know the man well but I would say hello whenever I saw him in the road.
“My thoughts go out to his family.”
Len Jones, 66, who lives on nearby Mount Road, said: “I heard a massive bang and thought a plane had crashed. It was pretty frightening.
“I don’t know which house it was as police cordoned it off pretty quick. I just hope and pray everyone is OK because it was a big explosion. Like a bomb.”
One local resident Brian Holmes, 58, said: “I believe there were two people in the property at the time.
“My friends who live on the street said the man was doing some work on the house at the time.
“They could hear drilling, sawing and hammering – stuff like that going on during the afternoon.
“It’s very sad indeed if that is the case. It is such a tragedy.”