A pensioner's spot of DIY ended in disaster when a simple painting job took a turn for the worse and his home went up in flames
David Beaumont, of Wolseley Road, said he was taking a look at the wall of his conservatory with an electric light when part of his house burnt down.
Two fire engines were called to the road after the wood in the walls caught alight at 10am on Monday.
The retired soldier said: "My eye-sight isn't good and I was just preparing to paint. The heat from the light went through a tiny hole and in a matter of minutes it was everywhere. I ran in and threw buckets of water, but it was an inferno and the flames were over my head.
"I managed to get out but I thought I was a goner. I was lucky to get away with my life."
The fire destroyed the conservatory, toilet, kitchen and part of the back room downstairs. Luckily his living room was untouched as firefighters managed to get the blaze under control in 90 minutes.
The 82-year-old moved into the house at the age of six in 1932 and has lived there ever since. Memorabilia collected over the years, including clocks, paintings and photographs were damaged in the blaze.
The widower said: "Luckily the picture of my wife got out, but the one of my grandmother was burnt. There are a lot of memories in this house."
Mr Beaumont has been traumatised by the incident and was taken by ambulance to Northwick Park
Hospital, in Watford Road, to be treated for smoke inhalation but he was released later that day.
He praised his neighbours who have been helping him since the blaze.
Most of Mr Beaumont's family are now longer living, and he is now worrried about how long it will take to repair the damage.
He said: "They have been putting me up next door and I have had calls from friends who want to help. People have a joke about it, but the joke isn't there. It was nothing I hadn't done before.
"If it takes 12 months for them to repair the house, I might not be here to see it."
Jules Lloyd, of Harrow Fire Station, said: "People do have accidents and something like this can happen, but we usually have fires from cooking or people smoking indoors.
"This man was using a blow torch, so I would say if you are doing DIY read the instructions for the appliances you use and think about what you are doing."