A gas blast was sparked at a town centre cafe when a teenager tried to light-up a shisha-smoking pipe with a blow torch.

Now the owner of the cafe has been prosecuted for breaching smoking and health and safety laws.

Eight windows of Bar B Base, Darwen Street, Blackburn, were smashed when 19-year-old Mohammed Wassim Natha tried to light the pipe.

Natha suffered flash burns and was taken to hospital.

Blackburn magistrates heard the explosion was caused by a leaking gas canister.

Babajide Martins, prosecuting for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said enforcement officers were already aware the cafe was being used for shisha smoking before the explosion and fire, which were not properly reported.

A subsequent inspection showed electrical cables draped over public stairways, insufficient handrails on stairs and inadequate lighting, the court heard.

There had been no risk assessment and there was nothing in place to deal with an emergency, Mr Martins said.

There was a problem in the Blackburn area with businesses operating as a cafe but offering shisha at a price, he told the court.

He added: “The café is used as a façade when in fact people are coming in and paying the owner for smoking.

"This fire exposed people who had come to the shop to risk and danger.”

Natha, of Wimberley Street, Blackburn, was prosecuted as a director of BBQ Base Ltd.

On Friday he pleased guilty to two offences of allowing smoking in smoke free premises, seven of breaching health and safety regulations and one charge of failing to ensure the safety of employees by exposing them to risks associated with an explosion because of his neglect.

The magistrates adjourned the case to set the level of financial penalty.

Yesterday a spokesman for the business said shisha was no longer offered on the premises, and the upstairs area above the takeaway was no longer owned by Bar B Base.

He added: “We just want to clear our name. ”