Sidcup pensioners saved by gas leak alarm

15:05 12 April 2012

Den Johnson

Den Johnson


Couple spot symptoms and buy carbon monoxide detector

An elderly couple survived potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning after spotting their symptoms and buying a lifesaving detector alarm.

Den Johnson, 82, and his wife Gladys, who was 79 on Tuesday, had been feeling unwell and experiencing headaches and nausea at their home in Shirley Road, Sidcup.

The symptoms can easily be confused with a cold or flu but the couple decided to fit a carbon monoxide alarm which reacted on Good Friday afternoon.

Known as the “silent killer”, about 50 people a year die from the gas.

Alongside firefighters who attended the incident, the couple are hoping to raise awareness and encourage others to fit the alarm.

Mr Johnson, who has lived in the same house for 56 years, said: “We put the alarm on the kitchen cupboard and it reacted furiously.

“It affected my wife more than me because she has an irregular heartbeat and it’s a wonder it didn’t kill her the first time.”

Sidcup fire station watch manager Neil Fox said their children were also paying a visit to the house on Good Friday and helped recognise the symptoms.

He said: “If they had not had the alarm and recognised the signs of poisoning it could have been fatal.”

Firefighters turned up to ventilate the house and turn off the gas.

The couple were treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, for carbon monoxide poisoning, before being allowed home on Friday night.

An ambulance, police car and a gas board van also attended the scene, blocking off the narrow road for two hours.

Watch manager Fox said: “We’d like to get the message out that it’s very important to fit carbon monoxide alarms.”

He said it was also important to get gas equipment fitted properly and checked.

The cause of the leak is being investigated.


Latest Bexley news

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Nicola Gibbs and her labrador, Ola

Nicola Gibbs, 48, brought home the dog in July 2014 as part of the Canine Partners scheme

Thursday, November 26, 2015
David Evennett

The campaign is highlighting the impact of living with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Parks and open spaces in Bexley are under threat of being sold off due to budget cuts. Old Farm Park Sidcup

Malcolm wright from the Save Old Farm Park campaign group explained his concerns

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nicholas Woods, 41, and Tim Clark, 50, both of Lincoln Close, were charged on Saturday with murder, false imprisonment and Actual Bodily Harm

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Erith gas leak courtesy of (Picture:LFB)

The gas leak on Church Manorway led to the evacuation of 200 people

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Detective Superintendent Gordon Allison with just a small selection of the hundreds of guns handed in, ranging from antiques to modern handguns [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

The surrender is running until December 6

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Phoebe is pictured with her handler Stuart Phillips and Council officers in the Broadway Bexleyheath

Alongside trading standards officers was one specially trained dog

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Rollercoaster of a week for the weather

Sub-zero temperatures at the weekend...into double figures by Thursday, says Met Office

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Bexley Times e-edition today E-edition

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder