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Trouble at t'[Thread]mills

Threadmills Fitness - the personal exercise, health and activity wing of Threadbone Leisure and Spa Ltd - found itself in "hot water" today as news emerged that a faulty thermostat in the dry sauna cabin of the Company's Winfrith Newburgh facility led to a customer almost being "boiled alive". The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons was said to be in a lightly poached but otherwise stable condition in Motcombe General Hospital. A resident of Wootton Fitzpaine, Mr C Ray Fish, is expected to be allowed home later this week once he has regained room temperature. An angry relative said "it made his blood boil" though whether he was referring to his own feelings about the matter or Mr Fish's condition is unclear.

Threadmills Fitness's Winfrith Newburgh Spa and Sauna facility was closed today pending a light investigation and a deep clean.

A spokesperson for the company - Jack Kuzzie - said that Mr Fish - a regular attendee of the facility who had recently traded in his bus pass for an annual membership - had fallen asleep in the facility at about 9.30pm after an evening with friends in the nearby Randy Goat public house. Friends said Mr Fish was "tired and emotional" after "more than a few bevvies" but definitely awake when they carried him into the sauna at about 9.15pm. They had done so in the hope that the dry heat would restore him to normal hydration levels since he was "p*****g everywhere". It was "a quiet period" in the spa, however, and no-one had noticed Mr Fish until a pool attendant had heard what she later described as a "faint melting sound and a pungent odour"; "a bit like what you get when you boil a nice bit of cow-heel on a slow burner". Only her quick thinking - she opened the door, doused the man in cold water and rushed to fetch a mop and bucket - had saved the sauna from almost certain damage. It is estimated Mr Fish had been on the equivalent of Gas Mark 8 for about 40 minutes.

"This is really very unfortunate" Mr Kuzzie added, "as the whole unit has just been refurbished at considerable cost and might need to be refurbished again if various, as yet not fully identified, residues and stains cannot be properly removed. Unfortunately, Mr Fish wasn't even sitting on the towel provided at the time which means there was no protection for the woodwork. It's really irresponsible: bits of him have gone all down the joints in the panelling and blocked the grates".

Ms Anatalia Balkrusha originally from Moscow but now of Melbury Bubb is an example of the extensive collateral damage arising from the "Boiling Fish" incident. Her moment of fame may well have been snatched from her and months of intensive Jim work [surely Gym? [Ed] No Jim [Sub Ed]] may have been for nothing. Lucky old Jim [Ed].

The news has also overshadowed the Company's recent launch of a Miss Threadmills' of the Month competition, the January winner of which - Ms Анатолийская шаровая дробилка [Ms Anatalia Balkrusha] from Melbury Bubb - was due to be revealed to the public this week. Plans for her unveiling are now on hold says Mr Kuzzie, adding only that "It's not exactly the start to the year we had hoped for".

A distraught Anatalia [42/24/36] has told the Sydling St Nicholas Sun that she feels as though she has been robbed of a great opportunity - one for which she has worked tirelessly since defecting from Cornwall. "I come here for chance I don't get in Russia. There I am put into clubs where I wear small clothes so men they can look at me. Here I go to club and wear small clothes and men can look at me too but is different. There I get a few roubles a day; here I pay £36 for month subscription to do it, so am independent woman. Everything is going fine until Fish man melt in sauna. Smell is terrible - like toilet in Хабаровск [Khabarovsk] after May Day Happy Hour Parade. Maybe Russia is not so bad."

In the meantime, Mr Fish - who weighed 16 stones when he entered the sauna but is now a trim 11 stone 4 oz - is thought to be considering suing Threadmills, his drinking pals, the landlord of the Randy Goat and possibly himself. "At the moment he's not sure", a neighbour said, "he's very hot-headed at present and just has to cool down and think about it carefully". Mr Fish is 68 and currently 84 degrees centigrade.

A resident of Wootton Fitzpaine, Mr C Ray Fish, is expected to be allowed home later this week once he has regained room temperature. Threadmills have denied that Mr Fish's weight loss is "giving us food for thought for another fitness regime".

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