A grandmother said she felt “sick inside” after learning that metal thieves had left her family at risk of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
Patricia Gillespie, 64, started suffering flu-like symptoms after the chimney flue was taken from her house in Wareham Close, Hull.
When a neighbour pointed out the theft she turned off her boiler. She said she felt better the next day.
Mrs Gillespie said: “I’ve been told I have been very lucky”.
She said she had no idea the flue was missing.
Lives ‘at risk’
She said: “I am lucky it was summer time, if it had been winter time it would have been very dangerous I would imagine.
“I was in shock when I found out, I just felt sick inside.”
“The frightening thing is I have my grandson of four years old and he occasionally has a sleep over. He’s only little and if he’d have been with me, it’s unthinkable.”
“[The thieves] couldn’t care less, they just want the money. They are putting people’s lives at risk, it could have been murder.
Police said the thieves “could have been responsible for the death of an innocent woman due to their greed”.
Humberside Police said a similar incident happened at a bungalow on Hambledon Close, Hull, last month.
Sgt Mark Peasgood said: “I would urge residents to report any suspicious incident in their area to the police and to stay observant to incidents of metal theft around their homes.”