Cheltenham evacuation: Wales and West Utilities explain why residents have been asked to leave their homes

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The smell that prompted the evacuation of several streets in Gloucestershire late last night (September 19) was caused by an electrical fault and not a gas leak, Wales and West Utilities said.Residents of Granville Street, Swindon Street and parts of Swindon Road were all told to leave their homes around 9:30 p.m. last night after a report of an alleged gas leak.

Emergency services including firefighters, police and representatives from West and Wales Utilities were all present at the scene and investigating overnight.

Wales and West Utilities said this morning that the cause of the smell was an electrical fault, which had caused smoke to build up in the basement of a house on Granville Street.

The utility company confirmed that all residents were allowed to return home around 2 a.m. and that all evacuations and additional work had been undertaken as a precaution while the issue was resolved.

Paul Brown, director of the Wales and West Utilities Gas Emergency Department for Cheltenham, said: ‘We were alerted by reports of a smell of gas last night (19 September) at a property in the Granville Street area of ​​Cheltenham and immediately dispatched an engineer to the scene.

“When we arrived, we discovered that a power failure had caused smoke to accumulate in the basement of a property on Granville Street.

“As a precaution, the emergency services evacuated the neighboring properties and closed the road and our engineers isolated the gas supply to the property so that the emergency services and the electricity distribution network could carry out their work.

“There was no leak from the gas network. However, our engineers remained on site to support emergency services. All residents were allowed to return home around 2 a.m. this morning (September 20).

“If you smell gas or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us immediately on 0800 111 999, and our engineers will be there to help you any time of the day or night.

“Before you visit, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or someone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating. We will always come to help you: but our teams will take some extra precautions to keep us all safe. ”

Gloucestershire Police and Gloucestershire Council also confirmed earlier this morning (Sunday) that all those affected by the evacuation have now been allowed to return to their homes and that the rest center set up at Leisure in Cheltenham had been closed.

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