A STREET had to be evacuated after a man barricaded himself in his own home and turned on the gas.
Police, firefighters and paramedics were called to Southwick Road in Sunderland after the 30-year-old man refused to come out.
The man, who was by himself, caused a stand off with police as the home filled with gas at 10pm on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “When police arrived there was a strong smell of gas present. “As a precaution, a cordon was then put in place and a number of the neighbouring properties had to be evacuated.”
Residents were forced to find temporary shelter from the cold for more than 30 minutes as officers continued to negotiate with the man.
Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade assisted with the evacuation of homes.
Crew manager Tony Chapman, from Fulwell Fire Station, said: “Public safety is paramount to us so we helped police in making sure the neighbours were all at a safe distance from the scene.”
Shortly after 10.35pm, police managed to arrest the man at the back door of the property, taking him into custody on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.
Crew manager Chapman added: “We then went inside the house and used a fan to make sure all the gas had been cleared and there was no more risk.”
Police then lifted the cordon and allowed people back into their homes.
Mick Morgan, 48, of Southwick, said: “We were passing at the time and there seemed to be a bit of a commotion going on. I can’t imagine the neighbours were too happy about leaving their homes at that time of night.”
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) said: “We sent our Hazard Area Response team to the scene of the incident in order to help the fire service due.
“The man was taken into an ambulance but was then transferred into the custody of police.”