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Firefighters close Stamford town centre for gas leak as comedian Josh Widdicombe eats pizza next door

Firefighters closed two businesses and sealed off a street for a suspected gas leak - while comedian Josh Widdicombe ate a pizza at Ask next door.

Staff at Oliver Lee hair salon in St John's Street raised the alarm just after 6pm this evening (Tuesday May 21) after they smelled gas during their regular Tuesday training evening.

Stamford firefighters responded within minutes of the call and were joined by two more crews.

Firefighters called to a suspected gas leak(10842061)
Firefighters called to a suspected gas leak(10842061)

They closed the road from St Mary's Street to Red Lion Square, redirecting traffic and people on foot for their safety.

Meanwhile, Josh Widdicombe - in Stamford to do a gig at the Corn Exchange - was having a pizza at Ask, next door to the salon.

Comedian Josh Widdicombe at the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre (10842459)
Comedian Josh Widdicombe at the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre (10842459)

Josh, who came out of the restaurant while the fire engines were still there, said he hadn't been aware of the drama unfolding outside.

As he walked from Ask up to the Corn Exchange, he said: "I was going to go to Pizza Express, but it turns out it's closed in Stamford on a Tuesday night, so I went to Ask instead and had a very nice Verdure pizza.

"I'm here to do a show at the Corn Exchange and it turns out I've done a gig here before in about 2016.

"It's sometimes only when you come back to a town that you realise it looks familiar. It's a lovely town."

Josh said he wouldn't be cracking any jokes at Stamford's expense during tonight's show, which was a sell out.

Wilson Nunes, manager of Ask, said Josh had been a very polite customer, although he admitted he had not realised who he was while he was in there.

"We weren't affected by the gas leak, although we could see firefighters outside," he added.

Oli Lee, owner of the hair salon praised the response of firefighters, and said: "The crews have been nothing but amazing and so quick to respond.

"We can't fault them - and the Stamford fire engine seemed to be here within a minute of our call."

Grant Worthington, owner of Aloha Food Company, on the other side of the hair salon, had to close his business, which would usually be open from 5pm until 9.30pm.

He said he was unable to use the electricity or gas supply for cooking, and would have to remain closed until the firefighters said it was safe.

Fire crews opened the road and left the scene at just after 7pm.

Pizza menu (10842491)
Pizza menu (10842491)

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