Couple afraid new home will blow up after smelling gas for second time in five months
A COUPLE were forced to evacuate their brand new home after smelling gas – for the second time in five months.
Eliza and Liam Thomas only moved into the house, in Heritage Park, Silverdale, in March.
But already they have twice had to flee after a gas leak sparked fears of an explosion.
They have received compensation from home-builder Barrett Home after a faulty tap led to gas escaping on April 16 – just weeks after moving in.
And the pair again had to flee their home, which they bought for £140,000, after a leak developed in a pipe.
Care co-ordinator, Eliza, aged 24, said: "It has been very stressful for us both. When you a buy a house you might expect a few small problems but not gas leaks."
The couple were told the first leak was down to a contractor who had over tightened a valve and applied for compensation. They were offered £500 and sent a letter of apology.
Eliza said: "We had my young niece and nephew over when we moved in and imagine if something had happened then. We would never have forgiven ourselves.
"I was very upset and angry when I saw the tiny amount they were only offering. I think mine and my husband's life is worth more than £250 each.
"And we only accepted on the basis that the compensation claim will still be taken further."
The couple were then outraged when there was a second gas leak at their property on Sunday.
The problem was fixed by their supplier e.on within 24 hours but they were left without heating overnight.
Eliza said: "It is very frightening to find that we still have a potentially explosive problem with our property.
"Gas is such a dangerous thing to get wrong and we feel that our lives have been put in danger. We're frightened the house could blow up. Our gas meter has been taken out and we don't know where we stand.
"It was supposed to be our dream house but instead it is a nightmare. I am scared to be in there on my own."
Ian Hilliker, technical director at Barratt Manchester, said: "A plumber visited the property on Sunday and found that the leak was outside and was being caused by a fault on the gas meter.
"Our plumbers are not allowed to install, remove or repair a gas meter as it is the property of the gas supplier. National Grid has a record of the resident's supplier and should have advised the resident to contact them as soon as the gas was turned off.
"We do have industry contacts with e.on and have therefore informally made them aware of the issue."
A spokesman for e.on said the problem was fixed by the gas transport company Energetics on Tuesday.
He added: "We immediately investigated the issue once we were made aware.".