STUNNED neighbours reeled in horror when a man tried to set light to gas pipes at a block of flats, it was claimed yesterday.
Residents living in the two-storey block at Candren Road in Ferguslie Park, Paisley, had to be evacuated while workmen from the gas company and fire crews battled to prevent a huge fireball engulfing the property.
But last night, however, sources close to the emergency services claimed it was an ‘absolute miracle’ that no-one was hurt in the incident.
They said: “The fact there was not a huge explosion is only down to the bravery of the workmen from the gas firm and the fire brigade.
“Police were also swiftly on the scene.
“It’s claimed someone ripped out some gas pipes from a flat and was trying to start a fire. If that is true and they succeeded, it would have been curtains for everyone concerned.”
Cops raced to the scene just before 8pm on Monday night. A 25-year-old man was arrested.
He had allegedly ripped out gas pipes and was said to be attempting to ignite the deadly fumes pouring out of the damaged mains.
The Paisley Daily Express understands that someone else living within the block pleaded for help after frantically dialling 999.
Last night, their quick-thinking actions were praised by cops.
A police spokesman said: “This could have led to a really horrible end.
“Thankfully, someone living within the block of flats dialled 999 and asked for an emergency response team.
The police and fire crews arrived in time to prevent a more serious situation developing and in the end, no-one was injured.”
As well as police and fire and rescue teams, workmen from Transco were called out to the property to shut off the gas supply leading to the property and make sure that the damaged pipes were made safe.
A man has appeared in custody at Paisley Sheriff Court charged with culpably and recklessly destroying the living room of a house by setting fire to a gas pipe that had been pulled from the wall.
It is alleged that through his actions, a fire took effect and destroyed the living room of the property.
The 25-year-old made no plea or declaration during his brief appearance on petition represented by defence agent John Gardner and Sheriff George Kavanagh continued the case against him for further examination.