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High rise fire horror!

Meter tampering causes massive fire – 14-floor tower block almost engulfed by flames

“Hundreds could have died if the blaze took hold,” said worried neighbours who spotted a third floor flat on fire at 4.30 in the afternoon in Luton, Bedfordshire. Luckily firefighters were on the scene in only nine minutes but already found the flat well ablaze and the communal corridor thick with smoke affecting other homes on the same floor.

burning-cable

Burning cables dropping from ceiling

At great risk to themselves, firefighters battled past falling cables to enter the flat and extinguish the blaze before flames spread to floors above and below. Even so, one next door flat was badly damaged by smoke and a neighbour hospitalised. “This was a serious fire and a real risk for other occupants if it had got out of control and spread,” said Ade Yule, Borough Commander of the Bedfordshire Fire Service, “And there are 14 storeys of family homes here on Waaluds Bank.”

Trying to bypass meters was to blame

This fire was no accident. “It was caused by someone deliberately bypassing the energy meters,” explained Chief Fire Officer Paul Fuller. “People think it’s a clever idea and means they get gas and electricity for free. In fact it is extremely dangerous and puts themselves and everyone around them at serious risk.”

Serious threat to neighbours on 14 floors

The family living in the flat were out when fire broke out. But most of their neighbours weren’t. They probably had no idea their meter tampering could have injured or killed so many people. “Everyone understands about wanting to save money,” said a spokesman, “But energy theft isn’t only illegal, it is highly dangerous. It costs huge amounts in fire damage and disruption and it can easily cost lives as well.”

If you suspect that someone has bypassed or tampered with a meter, report it. Your information will be completely anonymous.

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Report anonymously

Meter cheating means tampering with the meter so it doesn’t record how much electricity or gas is being used or trying to bypass the meter completely.

If you spot energy theft anywhere, report it anonymously now.