A man critically injured after a massive Christchurch explosion in the suburb of Northwood is back home after eight weeks in hospital.
Kevin Smith, who was crushed in the debris and put in an induced coma for a month, is recovering at home in Greymouth with his wife Annette, who was also hurt.
Paddy Blanchfield, Smith's son-in-law told the Herald on Sunday they had been "battling" away with their injuries.
"They will never be the same again. This explosion has shortened their lives, they are all psychologically affected by what's happened," said Blanchfield.
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Michael Greaney and his partner Sharon Hart, from Havelock North who were also guests at the house, didn't want to comment but are "on the mend".
After the blast, Greaney was transferred to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland with serious burns on his legs.
"Michael had severe burns down his lower body. His legs were burnt badly and he can't walk that well," said Blanchfield.
Lynda Glen, who owned the house and had superficial wounds, couldn't' be reached for comment but is understood to be living in a rental property.
"Lynda's lost everything. She was lucky to have got off lightly but feels guilty her friends were hurt " said Blanchfield.
Blanchfield's father-in-law Kevin Smith suffered severe upper body burns and needs skin grafts.
"That's how bad he was. He has had a lot of skin grafts going on. Kevin was burnt in his lungs, his arms and his face- his whole upper body. Annette has had superficial wounds that didn't require skin grafts and has healed up pretty well physically. They are both traumatised. Old people can't deal with this stuff," he said.
Blanchfield believes a tradesperson may be responsible for the "big error".
"What you will find is he has removed the heater to repair it. He took the heater away the day before the gas explosion so the house would have been leaking for about 12 hours we think. They are lucky everyone survived. So he has removed the heater to isolate it but something like a jug or a toaster has ignited the explosion."
It is understood the owner of the house was having trouble with the gas fire and arranged for it to be repaired the day before the explosion on July 19.
A fire chief reportedly said the victims of the blast may have survived because they were close to the source of it.
The shattering explosion occurred at 10.14am and completely destroyed the house at 9 Marble Court.
The blast caused widespread damage in the area - windows and doors were blown out and roof tiles and debris destroyed nearby homes. About 50 residents were evacuated.
John McGill and his wife Faye live on the corner of Marble Court and Brookwater Ave; their windows popped out and glass and shingle came through their house.
"Our house is a bomb site. We are in the middle of waiting for contractors – no job that's been started has been finished and quite frankly we are pretty unhappy about that.
"We are still living in the house - every room is damaged," said McGill.
Five damaged houses in the neighbourhood have been deemed uninhabitable by the council.
Gasfitter and plumber Greg Smith, who owns Christchurch firm Gas Unlimited, is understood to have worked on a gas fire in the house after the residents were having problems.
"It's been a difficult time but I'm not allowed to talk about anything, unfortunately", said Smith.
His lawyer, Simon Shamy, wouldn't be drawn on whether Smith had been interviewed by the police or what the cause of the explosion was.
The Police and Fire and Emergency have referred the matter to Worksafe who is leading the ongoing investigation.