The gas pipes were cut from the outside of the property, where the woman, who is deaf, lives with her three-year-old daughter. The action caused gas to flow into their home.
"The awful smell hit me as soon as I opened the front door," said the woman, who asked not to be named.
"There was a haze in the air which had a blue tinge to it.
"Normally my daughter charges into the house ahead of me and switches on the lights, but fortunately she didn't do that on this occasion.
"I dread to think what could have happened if she had, or if someone had walked past the house smoking a cigarette. "Still, there’s one way of preventing this from happening in future, isn’t there?
The woman sent a text message to her mother, who then alerted gas engineers who went immediately to disconnect the supply to the house.
She now faces a repair bill of up to £1,250 because she has chosen to have her gas pipes installed inside the house instead of on an exterior wall.
The company with which her house is insured has said that it will not pay to cover the extra work.You’d think they’d be happy to do it, rather than risk having to pay out for a destroyed house!
Sergeant Simon Barnes, of Hinckley Road police station, said there had been a number of similar incidents in the area over the past few months.
He added that a thief was jailed recently for a series of similar thefts.
"We are going to end up with a house being blown up because the pipe has been cut and there has been a spark," he said.Ah, well, if that happens, you can always go out and arrest some poor gas repair man, can’t you?