Woman, 28, reveals horrific burns after pub heater explosion left her 'on fire'

·3-min read
April Charlesworth was celebrating her birthday when she and her cousin were caught in a horror explosion at a pub. (SWNS)
April Charlesworth was celebrating her birthday when she and her cousin were caught in a horror explosion at a pub. (SWNS)

WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES

A young mum left severely burned when a portable pub heater exploded has revealed her shocking facial injuries after being left 'on fire'.

April Charlesworth, 28, was celebrating her birthday with her cousin Ashleigh, 27, when the heater – which was brought to the pub by a customer – exploded next to them, spraying them with ethanol. 

Both women were left with severe burns and were rushed to hospital, where they were put on ventilators and are still waiting to find out whether they need more surgery to treat their injuries.

It has been claimed the heater went up after a member of April's party poured ethanol on it 'for a laugh', according to The Sun.

Charlesworth, from Sudbury, Suffolk, said she has been suffering flashbacks and panic attacks since the incident, which happened at the Kings Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk, on April 24.

The cousins were celebrating April Charlesworth's birthday at the Kings Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk. (Google Maps)
The cousins were celebrating April Charlesworth's birthday at the Kings Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk. (Google Maps)

The mum-of-one said: "To begin with I didn’t remember anything. But I have been having flashbacks.

"I just remember me and Ashleigh being on fire.

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"We were outside the pub having a drink. A bottle of ethanol exploded.

"I had someone chuck a bottle of wine over me and then I was taken to the toilet and had water splashed all over me."

Injuries to April Charlesworth after a portable heater exploded in a pub beer garden. See SWNS copy SWCAheater: A mum who was set on fire after a portable heater exploded in a pub has told how she was saved - after someone threw a bottle of WINE over her. April Charlesworth, 28, was out celebrating her birthday with her cousin Ashleigh, 27, on April 24, when the pair were caught in the horror blast. April and Ashleigh were left with severe burns after a portable heater, brought to the pub by a customer, exploded next to them, spraying the pair with ethanol.
She was left with severe burns and is waiting to see if she needs further surgery. (SWNS)

Charlesworth was rushed to Bury St Edmunds Hospital then later transferred to Queen Victoria Hospital in London.

She was put on a ventilator and woke up four days later with serious burns to her neck, hands and face.

Doctors have given her donor skin whilst her own recovers, but the full extent of her injuries is not yet known.

She said: "I am in constant pain. Some days are harder and some days are better than others. I have been having panic attacks since it happened."

Injuries to April Charlesworth after a portable heater exploded in a pub beer garden. See SWNS copy SWCAheater: A mum who was set on fire after a portable heater exploded in a pub has told how she was saved - after someone threw a bottle of WINE over her. April Charlesworth, 28, was out celebrating her birthday with her cousin Ashleigh, 27, on April 24, when the pair were caught in the horror blast. April and Ashleigh were left with severe burns after a portable heater, brought to the pub by a customer, exploded next to them, spraying the pair with ethanol.
Charlesworth says she still has flashbacks and panic attacks after the explosion. (SWNS)

The 28-year-old, who is a support worker, has also not seen her seven-year-old son since the incident and says she doesn't want him to see her at the moment. 

Her cousin Ashleigh is still in Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, where she spent two days on a ventilator.

She has had skin grafts taken from her legs to treat the burns to her hands but is still waiting to hear whether she needs surgery to treat burns on her face.

Friends of both women have set up GoFundMe pages to support them in their recovery - with thousands of pounds already raised to help them.

Injuries to April Charlesworth after a portable heater exploded in a pub beer garden. See SWNS copy SWCAheater: A mum who was set on fire after a portable heater exploded in a pub has told how she was saved - after someone threw a bottle of WINE over her. April Charlesworth, 28, was out celebrating her birthday with her cousin Ashleigh, 27, on April 24, when the pair were caught in the horror blast. April and Ashleigh were left with severe burns after a portable heater, brought to the pub by a customer, exploded next to them, spraying the pair with ethanol.
Both women were rushed to hospital after the explosion, which happened on April 24. (SWNS)

Suffolk Police said enquiries are ongoing and a man has been voluntarily interviewed regarding the incident but no arrests have been made.

A spokesman said: "The two females remain in hospital receiving treatment for their injuries.

"Their condition is described as stable and their injuries are life-changing.

"One of them is at Broomfield, Chelmsford and the other is at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

"No arrests have been made or charges. However, a man has been interviewed voluntarily regarding the incident.

"Enquiries are ongoing in regards to the circumstances."

A fundraising page for April can be found here, while donations to Ashleigh's page can be found here

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