AN elderly woman had a lucky escape when a blaze broke out at her home in the early hours of today.
A freak chain of events led to a serious fire in the kitchen of the old woman’s home in Haughton Crescent, Jarrow at 2.50am.
Firemen said it was lucky the fire didn’t cause a gas explosion and the 75-year-old’s smoke detector activating probably saved her life.
The pensioner fled the burning house and firefighters went into the blazing home to rescue the pensioner’s small black mongrel dog.
The fire started in a wheelie bin which was next to a lean-to shed attached to the pensioner’s home.
Heat from the fire smashed the kitchen window and melted a gas metre coupling next to the windowsill, which in turn caused the leaking gas to catch fire like a blow torch.
It was probably lucky that the gas was being set alight by the flames as it escaped or there could have been a build up and an explosion.Watch manager Trevor Smith
Watch manager Trevor Smith, from Hebburn fire station, said the whole thing was an unfortunate chain of events.
He said: “We believe the fire was started by the accidental disposal of something too hot in the bin, which then spread to the shed.
“It is just really unfortunate that the gas metre coupling was near the window and the fire melted the alloy casing, which caused the gas to leak out.
“It was probably lucky that the gas was being set alight by the flames as it escaped or there could have been a build up and an explosion.”
Watch Manager Smith said the pensioner had managed to get out of the home when they arrived, but was very worried about her pet inside.
He said: “We went in to get the dog and thankfully everyone is alright.”
However, the kitchen suffered extensive damage.
Watch Manager Smith said the incident highlights how important it is to have smoke detectors fitted and to regularly check they are working.