Gas leak spotted by firefighters

Mum Sarah Farmer with Thomas, 2, and six-months-old baby Jack with firefighters Jez Coward, left, and Chris Welding
3rd April, 2007

Shropshire firefighters prevented a potential gas explosion at a Bridgnorth home occupied by a mother and her two young children.

Bridgnorth firefighters Chris Welding and Jez Coward were carrying out a routine home fire safety visit at the house in Birchlands when they raised the alarm.

"There was a very strong smell of gas as soon as the lady opened the door. We immediately turned the gas supply off, opened all the windows and the householder called the gas company which turned out at once," said Chris, 39, a firefighter for three years.

"The householder could not smell the gas but as we had just walked in from the fresh air it smelled very strong."

Sarah Farmer, whose husband Steve is a postman, thanked both firefighters for their help.

"It was a good job they called when they did as I don't know when the gas would have been detected. Because I had been in the house for a while the smell had built up but I had got used to it and hadn't noticed.

"It was a warm day and I hadn't turned on the heater which could have made a spark. We were very fortunate."

She also praised the firefighters for returning to check that the gas company had dealt with the leak from a boiler in a kitchen cupboard.

The family's home is one of many in Bridgnorth being targeted by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service for visits from firefighters who carry out home fire risk assessments and fit free smoke alarms which help to give early warning to a fire. For details call 01743 260 298 or write via Freepost to:

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Community Fire Safety Department

Brigade HQ

St Michael's Street

Shrewsbury

SY1 2HJ

The Bridgnorth incident is similar to another drama at a block of flats in Much Wenlock last month when two firefighters again smelled gas as they carried out routine home safety visits. They quickly advised the householder to put out his cigarette before shutting off the gas supply.