‘Freak accident’ severely burns smoker: Powerful gust of wind blows lighter flame into Manchester man’s face

By Glen Keogh

A ‘freak accident’ left a Manchester smoker with severe burns after a gust of wind blew a lighter flame into his face.

Emergency services are reminding smokers of the dangers surrounding the habit after the 24-year-old man needed hospital treatment for burns this morning.

Firefighters from Moss Side and Salford fire stations went to Humphrey Road at around 1am where the man had stepped outside to spark up – but a blustering gales swept up and left him with severe injuries.

Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “Even though this was a freak accident we mustn’t forget just how dangerous smoking can be – to our health and also the risk of having a fire at home is much higher for those that do smoke.

“Smoking is still one of the biggest causes of fire in the home in Greater Manchester so if you do smoke please take extra care when putting cigarettes and smoking materials out.

“Never smoke in bed, ensure cigarettes are fully stubbed out, use a proper ashtray and never tap your ash into a waste paper basket.”

The man was taken to hospital by paramedics who also attended the incident and treated him at the scene.

Smoke alarms can give an early warning when there is a fire and vital seconds to get out of the house. 

You can get a Home Safety Check by calling 0800 555 815 and GMFRS is advising people to take extra care when smoking.

While smoking rates have declined over past decades, the rate of decline has slowed in recent years.

Around 21% of adults in England continue to smoke, and the Department of Health aims to reduce smoking prevalence amongst all adults to 18.5% by 2015.

For information on smoking safety, please visit

For advice on how to quit smoking or for local support services, visit

Picture courtesy of gideondk, with thanks.

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