Residents evacuated after gas leak

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A QUICK-THINKING engineer saved the day following a “potentially dangerous” gas leak.

The gas engineer has been praised after recording “concerning” high levels of gas at a house in Grange Terrace, in Shotton Colliery, and contacting the fire service.

The workman, who stuck detection equipment through a letterbox, turned off the external gas supply as two crews made their way from Peterlee Fire Station.

It is understood the couple who live at the property were at work at the time and were distraught when they arrived home.

Around 20 residents from the street, a one-sided terrace of about 10 houses, which is also the location of Shotton Primary School, had to evacuate their homes and stand on the other side of the road for around an hour and a half as the incident was tackled.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The first I heard was when one of my neighbours knocked on my door and said the smell of gas was horrific and that they couldn’t breath.

“The street was blocked off and the fire brigade and police came.

“The fire brigade had to break in and two fire engines blocked both ends of the street off.

“We had to stand on the other side of the road and the fire brigade brought a machine and blew all the gas out of the windows.

“It was very upsetting for the couple when they finished work.

“It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened.”

The incident took place around 1pm on Tuesday.

Northern Gas Networks spokeswoman Gwen Allen said: “This was a potentially dangerous situation that, thanks to the actions of a quick-thinking gas engineer, was brought under control without incident.”

A Peterlee Fire Station spokesman said it is thought the leak came from a boiler.

To report gas concerns, call Northern Gas Networks on 0800 111 999.