Dodgy gas work caused house fire

Last updated 14:35 31/05/2012

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A tradesman has been fined more than $11,000 after his dangerous and illegal gas fitting caused a fire at a Massey home.

Lorenzo Santamaria incorrectly and illegally installed a Parmco gas kitchen hob and gas pipe work from an LPG bottle to the kitchen hob of a Zefiro Dr home in March last year.

The Massey plummer was fined $10,500 and a further $1000 for illegally advertising his gasfitting and plumbing services.

The fines were converted to 150 hours community work when he appeared in the Waitakere District Court late last month.  

Santamaria was not licensed or registered to carry out the gasfitting work, as required under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act 2006.

Another company had to fix his work.

There was a leak in Santamaria's gas fitting caused by his failure to install a washer underneath the gas hob. The pipe work was also in contact with an electric oven beneath the hob which potentially could have damaged the pipe as a result of heat transfer or physical damage, the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board said.

Samtamarie had also not converted the gas hob from natural gas to LPG so the gas flame was up to three times the normal height.

"This is an extremely serious offence and there was a clear risk of Mr Santamaria's dangerous work causing loss of life and injury," said Kern U'ren, deputy registrar at the board.

"Unregistered and unlicensed people undertaking gas fitting work place consumers at risk. I hope this sentence will serve as a deterrent to others."

U'ren urged people to make sure tradesmen carrying out plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying had a PGDB authorisation card.

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