A DOG has been hailed a hero by villagers after sniffing out a gas leak during his daily walk.
Will, a five-month old cocker poodle, was enjoying his walk with owner Sue Brookes through Greatham village, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, on Tuesday evening when he stopped dead in his tracks and began growling.
Unable to coax the dog away from the spot where he stopped, Sue bent down to pick him up to carry him the last few yards back to her home in High Street.
At that point, Sue heard what she described as a “hissing” sound and detected a strong smell of gas coming from a pipe attached to the wall of a house.
Sue immediately called the emergency gas leak hotline, and engineers rushed to the scene to cut off the gas supply after noticing a crack in the pipe.
She bought her beloved dog a bone in recognition of his efforts, and said the situation could have been much worse had it not been for Will’s detective skills.
Sue said: “I had no idea why he stopped, but he wasn’t going to budge for me.
“I was only a few yards from the front door, so I went back to where he was and as I leaned down I could smell the gas straight away and hear it leaking from the pipe.
“It was really strong when I got down to the level where Will was, and I knew straight away what it was so I reported it.”
As engineers finished work on installing a new pipe yesterday, Will was the talk of the village.
Neighbour Maurice Russell said: “The dog has done well to spot this leak, I dread to think what could have happened had the leak been left unattended.”
And Mike Lawson, who lives near Sue on High Street, added: “Will has saved the street.
“If it wasn’t for him we could have had a serious situation on our hands.”
Gordon Thompson, customer operations area manager for Northern Gas Networks, said: “Engineers from Northern Gas Networks attended a gas escape on a service pipe supplying a single property in High Street, Greatham, following a call to the National Gas Emergency Service on Tuesday evening.
“A smell of gas was reported at 20.32 and engineers from Northern Gas Networks arrived on site at 21.19 and made the situation safe by temporarily cutting off the gas supply.
“Engineers returned to site this morning to replace the service pipe with a modern plastic pipe. The gas supply was safely restored to the property yesterday afternoon.”
Anyone who smells gas is asked to call the emergency gas helpline on 0800 111999.