Gasfitter sentenced after incorrectly installed fireplace blaze wrote off home

9:28 pm on 11 May 2019

A gasfitter has been sentenced to four months of community detention after incorrectly installing a gas fireplace that later caught fire and wrote off the house.

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Patrick Dykes appeared at the Tauranga District Court yesterday for sentencing. Photo: SunLive

Patrick Dykes appeared at the Tauranga District Court yesterday and was also made to pay reparation costs of $20,000.

He has also been sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

Two months after Patrick Dykes installed a gas fireplace in 2017, there was a fire that left the house uninhabitable.

A Worksafe investigation found that it was only the quick thinking of residents exiting as soon as they smelt smoke that avoided any injury.

Worksafe also found the installation of the fireplace did not comply with the manufacturer's instructions.

The fireplace was not listed on the Worksafe database as being suitable for use with LPG and there was not any separation from combustible material, starting the fire.

Worksafe Energy Safety Manager Mark Wogan said Dykes should have known better.

"The installation manual he should have followed clearly stated the risk of fire, injury or property damage if the fireplace was not installed correctly."