Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Left Fighting for Life after Gas Blast; Man Caught in Explosion

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Left Fighting for Life after Gas Blast; Man Caught in Explosion

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON

A DEVOTED dad is today fighting for his life after his house exploded in a mystery gas blast.

Michael Jeffery McStay, known as Jeffery, is in a critical but stable condition in Newcastle's RVI where he has undergone emergency surgery to treat severe burns.

The 38-year-old suffered 60% burns to his body in the blast which ripped off the roof of his flat in Sceptre Street in Newcastle's West End and his family have been told the next 48 hours are critical.

The property was destroyed and the remaining buildings in the terrace of six were all damaged. Eleven people were evacuated.

His large close-knit family were by his side in hospital and told how he was a "fighter" and they were sure he would pull through because of his devotion to his children, Gemma, 18, Toni, 17, Connor, 13 and Taylor, six, who gave him so much to live for.

His nephew Michael Blair, said: "He's devoted to his kids. He'd see them every weekend.

"He wasn't working at the moment but whenever he had any money he would spend it all on them.

"He was always taking them out places. He's a fighter and he's going to pull through. With all his family there to support him, he has so much to live for." Mr McStay, who grew up in Brancepeth Avenue, Elswick, and has worked as a bricklayer and painter and decorator, was found standing only in his boxer shorts after the blast at the flat he had lived in for the past two years and neighbours said they saw him in the rubble screaming for help.

His mother Dorothy McStay, of Yewcroft Avenue, who has six other children, said: "When I saw the house on the television I couldn't believe he had walked out alive.

"We are in shock at what has happened.

"He's had two plastic surgery operations already and the doctors say the next 48 hours are critical as his condition is going up and down. …

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