Exploding sports bag knocks cricket fan off his feet in Sunderland

Fire damage to the changing rooms at Wearmouth Cricket Club.
Fire damage to the changing rooms at Wearmouth Cricket Club.
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A CRICKET fan was blown off his feet as he tried to put out a fire at a pavilion.

The blaze started in a sports bag in the changing rooms of Wearmouth Cricket Club in Southwick, Sunderland.

But as a man tried to drag it to safety, an aerosol inside the bag exploded, knocking him to the floor.

Firefighters from Fulwell station were called to the ground in Thompson Road on Tuesday.

Youngsters were playing cricket when the fire broke out at 7.45pm and one of their parents raised the alarm.

A spectator was trying to remove the bag, believed to belong to a 15-year-old boy, when the aerosol exploded.

It was not thought that he needed medical treatment.

Plaster board and a changing bench were also damaged in the fire, which took the crew 40 minutes to put out.

Crew manager Andy Barber, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If that had been inside the changing room then it would have been magnified.

“It was one of those smaller aerosol cans and it is surprising that something that size would have been able to blow him off his feet, so it is a warning for people not to go into fires, especially where there are aerosols involved.”

Mystery surrounds the cause of the fire, which Mr Barber said was suspected as being malicious, as they had “ruled out everything else”.

However, a spokesman for the cricket club said the changing rooms were locked at the time and it is thought a mobile phone sparked the blaze.