Early morning gas leak forces residents into cold

The Old Fort, Strathfoyle. (1903PG90)
The Old Fort, Strathfoyle. (1903PG90)

Strathfoyle residents were evacuated from their homes following a gas leak in the early hours of yesterday.

Several homes in the The Old Fort area were evacuated while Fire and Rescue Service personnel, police and a firmus energy engineer responded to the incident. Some St Patrick’s Day revellers returned from a night out to discover they could not enter their homes.

One resident said: “We heard knock at the door just before 2.30am - it was a neighbour to tell us that the fire brigade was on its way and that we had to evacuate. When the fire brigade arrived along with the police, the whole street was cordoned off. There must have been 25 people or more evacuated. We were outside in the cold until nearly 4am when we were told it was safe to go inside.”

Eric Cosgrove, of firmus energy, said the fault was repaired by their engineer within 30 minutes of arrival on scene.

“We received a call at approximately 2.15 am from a resident in Old Fort who could smell gas in the air outside where the meter box is located.

“The fire brigade attended and as a precaution evacuated the house and the neighbouring property. Our highly-experienced engineer arrived within 20 minutes of the call and quickly established that there was a small leak in the regulator in the meter box outside the house. The fault was repaired within 30 minutes of arriving on site and those living in the two houses were able to return inside. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience and thank the fire brigade for their help.”