Mum set on fire in pub heater explosion was saved when someone threw a bottle of wine over her

April Charlesworth was celebrating her birthday with her cousin Ashleigh when the two women were caught in the horror blast
April Charlesworth before the accident (SWNS)April Charlesworth before the accident (SWNS)
April Charlesworth before the accident (SWNS)

A mum-of-one who was set on fire when a pub heater exploded has revealed she was saved when someone poured a bottle of wine over her.

April Charlesworth 28, was out enjoying her birthday celebrations with her cousin Ashleigh, 27, on 24 April when the two women were caught in the horror blast.

A portable heater - which was brought to the pub by another customer - exploded next to April and Ashleigh, spraying them with ethanol and leaving them with severe burns.

Both women were rushed to different hospitals where they were put on ventilators.

They are still there waiting to find out whether they need further surgery to treat their injuries.

‘Someone chucked a bottle of wine over me’

April, who is from Sudbury, Suffolk, has told how she has been suffering "flashbacks" and "panic attacks" in the wake of the incident, as she remembers snippets of what happened.

She had been celebrating her 28th birthday at the Kings Head pub in Great Cornard, Suffolk.

"To begin with I didn't remember anything,” she said.

"But I have been having flashbacks. I just remember me and Ashleigh being on fire.

"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."

April was rushed to Bury St Edmunds Hospital before being put to sleep and 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 April donor skin whilst her own recovers, but the full extent of her injuries is not yet known.

‘My son has not seen me since I went to hospital’

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. I do not remember going to sleep and I was very confused when I woke up.

"I have had my mum here with me every day. I wouldn't have got through it without her."

And April, a support worker for Your Life Care Solutions, added that she has not seen her seven-year-old son, Franklin Avery, since the incident.

She said: "My son has not seen me since I went into hospital - I do not want him to see me at the moment."

Friends of April have set up a GoFundMe page to support her in her recovery - which has raised over £4,000 in just three days.

April said: "I am shocked by the response to the appeal and by how many people seem to care."

No arrests have been made

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

Ashleigh has had skin grafts taken from her legs to treat the burns to her hands - but is still waiting to hear whether she requires surgery on her badly-burned face.

A separate fundraising page has also been set up for Ashleigh, which has raised over £3,000 since it was set up four days ago.

Suffolk Police say no arrests have been made, but a man has been voluntarily interviewed regarding the incident.

A spokesman said enquiries are ongoing.

He 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."

To donate to April's fundraising page, click here.

To donate to Ashleigh's fundraising page, click here.

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