A COUNCIL worker has been hailed as a hero for turning off the supply to a gas pipe being engulfed in flames.

Joiner Phil Griffiths had been working on properties in Riverbank, Bagillt, when he saw flames at the back of a semi-detached house.

Video by Geoff Abbott

Mr Griffiths said he thought there was a risk of an explosion when he realised a gas pipe on the side of the house ran directly into the flames.

“I saw the flames around the gas pipe and I said we need to turn the gas off,” said Mr Griffiths who is from Bagillt and has worked for Flintshire Council for 22 years.

“It’s was obvious that was the first thing to do.

“It was me and a young lad who had the keys to the gas box who did it.

“Luckily I was walking past when I saw what was happening.

“The flames were quite high and you can see that it’s burnt the tree and melted the guttering next door.

“It was really hot but we ran in turned off the gas and ran back out again."

The fire started in a garden shed which was attached to the back of the property.

A neighbour who lives opposite said the first thing she saw was a “heat haze” at the side of the building and thought they were having a barbecue.

“I saw smoke coming from the wall and told my husband there must be a fire,” said the neighbour who asked not to be named.

“My husband went over to see what was happening and then it burst into flames.

“The flames were higher than the roof and stuff was coming off the guttering.

“One of the council workers went in and turned the gas off.

“If he hadn’t turned the gas off the building might have blown up. He acted like a hero.

“I didn’t know the gas box was on the side of the house but the fire spread to the gate and it wasn’t far off the gas box.

“The people were outside and they said they had phoned the fire service.

“The fire service were here within minutes and did a marvellous job.

“Thankfully, nobody was hurt and their little boy was in school,” she said.

David Owens who lives next door to the stricken property said he was upstairs when he realises something was wrong.

“I was in my bathroom and could feel the heat coming through the window so I ran outside,” said Mr Owens, whose gutters were melted in the blaze.

“I thought someone was burning something but then it got out of control and the flames got higher and higher.

“My neighbour was on the phone to the fire brigade and I can’t thank them enough for getting here so fast.

“I’m a bit shook up but really pleased that nobody has been hurt,” he said.

A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “A call was received just after 1.30pm reporting a house fire in Riverbank in the village.

“Two fire crews went to the scene - one each from Flint and Holywell - to find the incident involved a shed.

“Firefighters used a hose reel jet, a set of breathing apparatus and small tools to tackle the blaze.

“100 per cent fire damage was caused to the shed and 10 per cent smoke and heat damage was caused to the exterior of a house.

“Nobody was injured in the blaze.”