Blast victim in serious condition

A MAN severely burnt in an explosion at Yarram earlier this week remains in a serious condition, with a gas bottle believed to have caused the blast.

The 35-year-old local man received burns to up to 50 per cent of his body early on Monday morning when his house exploded.

He suffered severe burns on his face, upper body and legs and was airlifted to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma.

As of yesterday morning, he was still in an induced coma with his condition still listed as serious.

CFA fire investigators and detectives from the Arson and Explosions Squad in Melbourne have been investigating the cause of the explosion, which nearly levelled the house and was heard across Yarram.

Detective Senior Constable Jim Martin of the arson unit said police had ruled out suspicious circumstances.

“We believe we’ve located the origin of the fire, which was the lounge room,” he said.

A leaky gas bottle is believed to have been the cause of the explosion.

“The gas bottles were being kept indoors, which was not unusual (for the occupant),” Det Martin said.

“However, as far as an ignition source, we are still investigating what may have actually sparked (the fire).”

Det Martin said there was no indication “anything criminal” had caused the fire.

POLICE are investigating the theft of an exotic stud dog valued at $10,000 from a Devon North property.

According to police, the dog was of a breed rarely found in Australia.

It was stolen some time between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning this week from a breeding kennel in Devon North.

While the investigation is in its infancy, police suspect the crime may have been carefully planned, and the dog may have been monitored in the days leading up to its theft.

Anyone with information is asked to phone Yarram police on 5182 5033.