A Tauranga gasfitter who incorrectly installed a gas fireplace at a house which led to extensive fire damage has been sentenced to four months' community detention.

Patrick Joseph Dykes' company was hired to install the gas fireplace at the Pāpāmoa home in 2017.

However, two months later there was a fire at the Cassinia Close house which caused extensive damage, WorkSafe New Zealand said.

No one was injured but the house was left uninhabitable.


WorkSafe's investigation found the gas fireplace and flue installed in a timber frame cavity at the house did not comply with the manufacturer's installation instructions. The fireplace did not have any separation from combustible materials, causing the fire.

WorkSafe said it was only the quick thinking of the occupants leaving the house as soon as they smelt smoke which meant they avoided injury.

Dykes admitted not confirming the gas fireplace was marked with a gas safety compliance label nor checking for a supplier declaration on the WorkSafe gas appliance database.

The fireplace was also not listed on the WorkSafe gas appliance database as being suitable for use with LPG.

Judge Peter Rollo sentenced Dykes in the Tauranga District Court today