Pensioner rescued in gas mains fire drama

Peter Connell and Jill Hepworth at the gas leak in Page Hiil, Wheatley.
Peter Connell and Jill Hepworth at the gas leak in Page Hiil, Wheatley.

FIREFIGHTERS rescued a pensioner from her home after the gas pipe and water mains set on fire.

Doreen Crabtree, 88, is thought to have been woken by a bang after an electrical fault in the cellar at the house on Page Hill in Wheatley, Halifax.

The sparks are understood to have ignited the gas and water pipes.

Crews from Illingworth Fire Station were called at 1.30am yesterday.

When they realised what had happened, they evacuated four neighbouring houses until they could guarantee it was safe to return.

Mrs Crabtree was taken to hospital and was recovering there yesterday.

Emergency accommodation was being found as no one was able to go back to stay at the house.

Her grand-daughter Jill Hepworth said the family hoped they would be allowed back inside over the weekend.

Mrs Crabtree’s son-in-law Peter Connell said: “She’s marvellous for her age.

“I call her the rubber ball, she’s always bouncing back.”

The electricity supply was cut off to 69 properties in the area while engineers ensured there was no other danger.

All but two of those properties had power restored by 6.24am. They were re-connected by noon.

A spokeswoman for Northern Gas Networks said they were called at 2.15am and capped off the gas supply to the house to make sure the area was safe.

They have advised Mrs Crabtree’s family that an engineer will need to come out to reconnect the supply.

If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety call 0800 111999, 24 hours a day.