A 17-year-old boy died in an explosion after flash paper from his family’s online magic business ignited when he used hairspray on a 3D printer for a school art project.Sixth Form pupil Tom Taylor used three canisters of hairspray to stick the piece of work to the hot plate of the printer after watching the technique online, an inquest heard.An electric spark from either a nearby socket or the hot plate caused the hairspray gases, which had built up over several hours, to combust and ignite highly flammable flash papers that his family stored underneath the desk.Tom tried to walk out of the back office, which his family called the “smoke room”, but he inhaled fumes and collapsed, a coroner was told. He died from smoke inhalation. This is an extremely unsafe practice which I advise against wholeheartedlyfire investigator Ian Woods Fire investigator Ian Thomas (left) and DS Adam Petty outside the inquestCredit:Jordan Challis/Media Lincs Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Fire investigator Ian Woods told the inquest flash papers were highly flammable and UK guidance was that they should be destroyed after two years, stored away from living areas and kept in a robust container.The officer said there was no evidence of the family having a stock control system and flash paper debris in an “Asian text” was found in the aftermath.”We believe Tom used hairspray on a 3D printer after watching a video online,” the officer said. “This is an extremely unsafe practice which I advise against wholeheartedly.”The inquest heard flash papers can ignite at temperatures of just 170C and the blaze in which Tom died would have reached a heat four or five times higher.A decision was made not to prosecute the family over health and safety breaches as it was deemed not to be in the public interest given Tom’s death, the hearing was told.Stuart Fisher, the senior coroner for Lincolnshire, recorded a verdict of accidental death and asked for lessons to be learned from Tom’s “tragic death”.Mr Fisher said: “It appears Tom’s use of hairspray on a 3D printer in a small office resulted in a significant build up of propane.”Unfortunately either an electric spark or the hot plate of the 3D printer ignited the propane and caused a flash of super heated gases.”The initial ignition then ignited flash paper which was stored in very close proximity to the 3D printer. The result was a devastating fire in which Tom tragically lost his life.” Tom Taylor was described as an ‘amazing, kind, generous, humorous young man’Credit:Jordan Challis/Media Lincs In a statement released after Tom’s death, his mother, step-father and twin brother said they were overwhelmed by the community’s support.”Tom was just such an amazing, kind, generous, humorous young man,” the family said. “He was such fun and was happiest when he was making others happy, and he always succeeded in doing that. He was constantly upbeat, cheerful and happy.”Following Tom’s death, his head teacher at The Priory Witham Academy, in Lincoln, paid tribute to the “kind-hearted” and “popular” sixth form student.Head teacher Andrew Madge said: “We are deeply saddened to learn that Tom has lost his life in this tragedy. Tom was such a kind-hearted person and a very well-known member of his year group and the school as a whole.”He excelled in all that he did and had a particular love of music, being a member of the school band. He had settled exceptionally well into Year 12 at LSST and was thoroughly enjoying his Sixth Form studies.”Tom had an extremely wide friendship group and was very popular with staff as well as his fellow students.” The 3D printer had been bought on eBay for £300 several months earlier and was described as “low end”.An inquest heard Tom’s mother, Helen Taylor, heard the “loud bang”, but his step-father Max Clark was unable to enter the room after being confronted by a wall of flames. Attempts to smash a window also failed.Tom’s body was recovered from the converted Co-op store, where his family lived and also ran an online magic business called “MagicNevin”.Ten fire engines battled the inferno, which broke out in Lincoln at around 4.25pm on December 21.Witnesses described it as a “great big ball of flame”, which could be seen from miles around.Tom lived at the property with his twin brother Jack, mother Helen, 46, and 49-year-old step-father Max Clark.An inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre was told Tom’s family had chosen not to attend the hearing as the evidence would be too “upsetting”.The inquest was told flash papers commonly used by magicians had been incorrectly stored underneath the desk where Tom was working on a “nuts and bolt” art project.
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