Big Jeff’s friends reveal details of 'flash fire' which left him seriously injured

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The family of Bristol legend Big Jeff have revealed the horrific details of the house fire which left him seriously injured in a bid to save others.

Artist Jeff Johns is well known in Bristol for attending a different gig in the city each night of the week.

But he has not been seen in venues for months, after being seriously injured in a house fire at his home in Totterdown on June 6.

He was taken to Morriston Hospital, in Swansea, where he remained in a coma for weeks.

After receiving treatment for his injuries, including learning to walk again, he is now back in Bristol having been transferred to Southmead Hospital.

In a statement released today (17 August,), Big Jeff's family and art manager Lee Dodds released details of the fire.

They said: "On the 6 June, Jeff went to see Amyl and the Sniffers at the O2 Academy Bristol. As usual, after the gig he returned home to cook himself something to eat.

"While he was cooking a simple meal, the bottom of his shirt caught alight on the gas hob.

"This resulted in a flash fire as the flames quickly spread on his clothing. Jeff ran to his bathroom to get himself under the shower to cool himself."

His neighbours heard the cry for help and called the emergency services.

The statement said he is making "amazing" progress and is now able to walk with a frame and feed himself.

"The fire team who rescued Jeff did an incredible job and we are so grateful to them and to the neighbours who called them. It most certainly saved Jeff’s life,” they added.

“As a result, he is able to tell his story, to try to protect others. We want to reiterate that Jeff does not drink alcohol or take drugs, so this could happen to anyone at any time.”

Avon Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the scene within five minutes of receiving the call, with three fire engines and 14 firefighters attending the blaze.

Jeff's family and manager said: “If Jeff had known what to do then he would have been less injured.

"Stop, drop and roll is such a simple mantra - and fire safety just isn’t spoken about enough.

"If we can make a difference to one person’s life, then that would be an amazing result.”

Jeff and his loved ones are now working with the Blue Watch team at Temple Fire Station to raise awareness of fire safety in the home.

Avon Fire and Rescue service have said that 49% of the fires it attended last year involved cooking.

Firefighter Sarah Hopper was first on the scene at the incident involving Big Jeff.

'Big Jeff' Johns Credit: ITV West Country

She said: “I found Jeff inside and it was obvious that he had sustained serious burns. I got Jeff outside, where the rest of the crews treated Jeff with the equipment we have before the ambulance arrived.

“Although he was in a terrifying situation, Jeff was an absolute legend. He stayed calm and listened to what we were telling him, which allowed us to do our job and give him the best treatment.”

She said the team are please that Jeff is able to help send a message to Bristol and beyond of what to do in a fire.

"If your clothes catch on fire, the best thing to remember is: stop, drop and roll. If you find yourself in an emergency and need the fire service, call 999 immediately. We are here to help," she added.

His close friend and art manager Lee Dodds has since said though that Jeff is on the mend and was in good spirits after she visited him in hospital.

"It was a really scary time when we found out that he had been involved in a house fire," Lee said.

"He was in a coma but now he is in hospital and he is starting to make progress.

"Hopefully he will be back out at gigs as soon as the doctors allow him, he has a lot of FOMO (fear of missing out) at the moment because of all the gigs and festivals taking place so we hope he can get back to them soon."