Electric cable fire causes CO leak
Several homes in Londonderry had to be evacuated after an electric cable fire led to a carbon monoxide leak.
Firefighters initially assumed the incident, which affected terraced houses and a bar in Upper Bennett, was caused by a simple gas leak but later found that the fumes were coming from a burning underground electric cable.
The source of the gas leak was identified via thermal imaging equipment and NI Electricity engineers then removed the burning cable.
Fire Service District Commander Barry McDowell said: "This was a pretty major incident and an unusual one."
He added that the amount of carbon monoxide measured in the houses was "a potentially fatal level."
Around 25 residents were asked to leave their homes as firefighters spent more than six hours on the site.
The incident highlights the importance of taking out home insurance to be covered in case of gas leaks or other unforeseen events. Homeowners should also fit carbon monoxide alarms to be able to detect traces of the poisonous gas before it reaches a dangerous level.
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