Friday, January 19, 2018

Pensioner sets house on fire, trying to exterminate bees

...escapes with his life

The ruins of the house. Photo by Joson Shields

A BELMONT man lost his house in a fire ignited by a torch he was using to get rid of a swarm of bees on Thursday.

Vernon Niles sustained burns to his back and neck as he ran from the burning house at Belmont Circular Road.

Niles, a man in his 60's, had lived in the house since he was a child. 

A distraught Niles told reporters that at around midday he had attempted to eradicate the bees underneath his house using a torch.

However, as the bees tried to attack him, he dropped the flame and ran. 

Vernon Niles sits on the pavement outside his burnt house at Belmont on Thursday. Photo: JASON SHIELDS

The concrete and wooden structure was destroyed despite the efforts of fire officers from the Belmont and Wrightson Road Fire Stations.

Losses were estimated at $100,000.

Niles was taken to hospital for treatment for the burns.