A ROOFER helped avert a massive gas explosion in Addiscombe when he went to the wrong address for a job.
Shaun Ingram, 45, was due to visit a house in Dominion Road on Tuesday (January 27) to fix a new flue for a boiler but accidentally took the wrong turning into Laurier Road.
When he knocked on the corresponding numbered house he was meant to visit a road away at around 5.30pm, there was no answer. But when he looked through the letterbox to see if anyone was in, he smelled gas.
Mr Ingram, from Shirley, said: "When I opened the letterbox, I was nearly sick. I've never smelt such a strong gas. It was disgusting."
Mr Ingram, director of Southwood Roofing, rang his friend and colleague Shaun Ottmann, of Logical Heating + Plumbing Solutions, immediately.
At this point Mr Ottmann, also 45, explained to his friend he was at the wrong house and his colleagues were waiting for him round the corner.
Mr Ottmann then rang the police while Mr Ingram banged on the door to see if anyone was in before leaving in his van.
Mr Ingram added: "I can't believe it – it must have been fate that I went to the wrong house. The police rang us up after the incident and told us because the houses were terraced, there could have been four or five houses gone up in an explosion."
Crews from Woodside fire station and Southern Gas Networks attended the house at 6.10pm, with police arriving at the same time to smash the front door down.
The house was made safe and police made the property secure by 7.40pm.
The two Shauns have been friends since they were four years old – attending Spring Park Primary, Shirley High and John Ruskin College together.
Mr Ingram went to visit the woman who lives at the property on Wednesday to see if she was OK.
He said: "She was fine, I think, but a bit shocked by the incident. I'm glad no one was hurt really. We've looked it and thought 'how many lives have I saved?'"