A RETIRED MINER AND HIS SISTER NARROWLY ESCAPED DEATH ON SATURDAY WHEN A WATER BOILER BEHIND A GRATE IN THE KITCHEN OF THEIR HOME EXPLODED.
They were treated for shock after the violent explosion which shattered windows and damaged property in all six rooms of the double storey house.
After the blast, heard by shoppers in the busy town center 200 yards away, a fire spread on the ground floor.
The couple, who were later looked after by friends, said they would have been killed if they had not left the kitchen to go into a front room only minutes before the explosion.
Mr. Fowler, still shaken, told shortly after the incident: "I had lit a fire in the kitchen at the rear of the house when my sister and I decided to go into the front room where it was warmer for a few minutes.
I was just getting ready to go out when there was a deafening bang and all the windows in the house were blown out. At the time my sister and I were in the only safe room in the house.
"The place was in a terrible shambles, and damage was caused in every room"
Mr. Fowler said he had not previously lit a fire in the kitchen grate for several days.
The boiler which exploded was practically new.
His sister, who has lived with Mr. Fowler in the same house since 1934 and who also suffered shock, told me she was concerned at the "trouble" she had caused to firemen and police.
"They have been really marvellous but I wanted to save them all the bother," she added. About the explosion she said she had left the kitchen at the time we would definitely have been killed" Miss Fowler went on.
"The blast created havoc and it's a miracle we are still alive. As it was, the only injury suffered between us was a slight burn to my hand when I was trying to help put out the fire."
The couple's view that they were lucky to escape alive was echoed by Superintendent John Evans, who was on the scene within minutes of the incident.
"They were in the only safe room of the house at the time, and both were extremely fortunate to escape serious injury." he said.
After the blast, fragments of glass were scattered on the road outside and pieces were even blown into a field on the opposite side of Park Street.
The explosion cracked a side wall from top to bottom.
A partition was completely shattered and the kitchen ceiling was also badly damaged.
Ammanford firemen, led by Station Officer O. B. Coggins carried out salvage work after dealing with the ground-floor blaze.
Both Mr. Fowler and his sister were treated by a doctor for shock. They later stayed with neighbours as a precautionary measure as the wiring in the house was extensively damaged.