Copper pipe theft put life on the line

The kitchen of a house in Hepworth Lane, Mirfield, was completely destroyed by a gas explosion, which was caused by a stolen pipe. (d30031153)
The kitchen of a house in Hepworth Lane, Mirfield, was completely destroyed by a gas explosion, which was caused by a stolen pipe. (d30031153)
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A WOMAN had a lucky escape when a gas explosion destroyed her kitchen.

The blast was caused after a copper pipe was stolen, leaving the house in Hepworth Lane, Mirfield, to fill with gas.

On Saturday at around 6am, the 53-year-old resident of the house turned on her kitchen light and the fumes ignited.

Next door neighbour Rita Ashman said: “I heard a bang and a rumbling, which was the rubble falling, and then I heard the lady that lives there screaming.

“I got up and went and looked out of my bedroom window and I could see the yellow vests of the police.

“Then I went and looked out of my bathroom window and all the glass from the window next door was in my path and the frame was blown from the window.”

Mrs Ashman’s home and several others were evacuated while police, firefighters, structural engineers and gas company staff inspected the scene. By 11.30am residents were allowed to go back into their homes.

Mrs Ashman said: “The police, the firemen and gas people that came were really good and very kind to us.”

The 53-year-old woman, named locally as Ann, was not injured, though neighbours said her hair was singed. She is thought to be staying with her son.

Builder David Hare, who was hired by Kirklees Council to clear up the mess left by the explosion, said she was lucky to be alive.

He said: “The road was just covered in rubble, windows, masonry and the kitchen.”

DC Paul Greatorex of Dewsbury CID said: “This incident could have been a lot more serious and the occupant of the house has been very lucky to escape uninjured.

“Whoever has taken this copper piping has clearly neglected to think of not only their own safety, but also that of innocent people in the area.”

If you have any information, contact DC Greatorex on 01924 431012 .Our readers have reported similar crimes on the Dewsbury Reporter Facebook page. Sam Pickles said her 84-year-old grandmother had to be evacuated from her home at 4am after a copper pipe was stolen.

Debbie Davies said another pipe was stolen from the flat of one of her mother’s neighbours in Westtown.

Has this happened to you? Email your comments to dewsburyeditorial@ywng.co.uk