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An Essex family could seek compensation after their lives were put at risk because of a gas leak.
'Fireplaces by Heals' was commissioned to install a new fireplace at a property in Essex in February 2012. However, because of a shortage of staff at the firm, the company's retired director Les Heal, who is not a Gas Safe registered engineer, was sent out to complete the work.
After removing a section of gas pipe, Mr Heal capped the pipe underneath the floorboards with a compression joint.
When the homeowner returned, he smelt a strong gas odour and found his wife asleep in the bedroom before evacuating the property.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered an inadequate fitting had been used and put in an inaccessible place.
HSE inspector Edward Crick said: "This failure resulted in a significant gas leak at the householder's property and it is only a matter of luck that there was no serious damage or injuries as a result."
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