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Video Captures Close Call for UK Firefighters

Video Captures Close Call for UK Firefighters

Source: YouTube

Associated Press

July 18, 2011

CASTLEFORD, UK – A fire service has released footage of a house in West Yorkshire exploding moments after residents were evacuated, in an attempt to warn copper thieves about the dangers of tampering with electricity and gas equipment.

No one was seriously hurt in the incident in Castleford because firefighters had just finished evacuating the whole terrace of properties when it was engulfed in flames.

The shots were taken by one of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s “silent witness” cameras attached to the top of fire appliances.

Crews were called to Rhodes Street in the town a week ago following reports of a small kitchen fire and found a string of small fires in the row of six terraced houses.

A spokesman for the service said around 30 people were evacuated, including two people from upstairs bedrooms using ladders. Moments later the explosion, which was caught on camera, tore through the houses.

Two homes were partly demolished and the four other houses suffered extensive fire and blast damage.

One firefighter was taken to hospital with minor cuts.

The spokesman said the blast was caused after cable was cut from an overhead line by copper thieves. This affected the earthing of the electrical network in the area and resulted in unusual electrical activity which affected some of the gas pipes within the properties.

The incident in Castleford last week affected the electricity supply to 63 properties and the gas supplies to 55 properties.

A 27-year-old man from the Castleford area was arrested on suspicion of the theft of cable and has been released on bail pending further inquiries.