Neighbourly kind­ness

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS - By Ali­son O’Con­nor Richard Telford and his sons Sen and Kai went to check on their el­derly neigh­bour on Thurs­day, to find her stove had been left on and the smell of gas had filled the house.

Sey­mour res­i­dent Richard Telford ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand the im­por­tance of check­ing on el­derly neigh­bours on Thurs­day.

Just be­fore they headed off on an Easter camp­ing trip, Mr Telford’s sons Kai and Sen went to say good­bye to their neigh­bour Marge.

Af­ter knock­ing on Marge’s back door and re­ceiv­ing no an­swer, the boys re­alised they could smell gas com­ing from the house.

‘‘We couldn’t rouse her and all the doors were locked, but her car was in the drive­way so we knew she had to be home,’’ Mr Telford said.

‘‘She had given me a spare key so I used that to get in­side.’’

Thank­fully Marge was okay — she was in the bath­room at the time and hadn’t heard the boys knock­ing.

How­ever, on in­spec­tion, Mr Telford found the gas on the stove had been left on, and the smell of gas was rife through­out the house.

‘‘We think it had been on all night, she might have knocked it while clean­ing af­ter mak­ing din­ner,’’ Mr Telford said.

‘‘She has a gas heater too, so my fear was the gas could have hit the pi­lot light and the whole house could have gone up.

‘‘She hadn’t smelled a thing, prob­a­bly as you get older your sense of smell re­duces, and you might not no­tice things like you used to.

‘‘It re­ally could have been dis­as­trous if we hadn’t dis­cov­ered the gas when we did. ‘‘She was very thank­ful.’’ The two have been neigh­bours for more than six years, and Mr Telford said their friendly re­la­tion­ship was im­por­tant.

‘‘I think it’s so im­por­tant to have a rea­son­able con­nec­tion with your el­derly neigh­bours,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve built that re­la­tion­ship over the years and we’re of­ten in con­tact and check on her reg­u­larly.’’

Mr Telford also feels it is im­por­tant for peo­ple to have gas de­tec­tors in­stalled as an­other mea­sure of safety.


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