A REFUSE collector prevented a potential catastrophe when he alerted a disabled woman about the smell of gas coming from her home.

Chris Frost who works for Wychavon District Council's contractor Focsa smelled the acrid fumes of the gas as he collected rubbish from homes in Crofters Green, Droitwich.

Mr Frost had been collecting the bins from the bin stores next to the house, when he realised something was wrong.

He alerted Irene Hurst who was in her bed shortly after 10am on Wednesday that he suspected a gas leak.

"We wondered who it could be and when we answered the door the refuse collector told us he could smell gas and insisted we called the gas supply company," she said.

"We did so straight away, they explained to us how to turn off our gas supply and someone was around within an hour."

Mrs Hurst added that a gas worker replaced piping and the valve to her outside meter before he left.

"I contacted Wychavon so that I could thank the refuse collector," added the 56-year-old.

"If it hadn't been for him we would have never known about the leak so we are very grateful to him."

Sharon Casswell, Wychavon's principal client services officer said Mrs Hurst was very grateful for Mr Frost's actions.

"She sent in a very nice letter thanking us for the action taken and preventing what could have been a serious incident," she said.

Chairman of Wychavon's environment committee, Don Lawley, praised the quick-thinking actions of Mr Frost.

"All of our refuse collectors have a reputation for helping the public whenever they can," he said.

"It's the kind of attitude that often makes a big difference to people's lives."