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pigeon trapped at the back of the family's gas fire

Pigeon rescue 21st June 2014Usually when I’m asked to attend a gas fire by a customer, it’s usually to service the appliance, or because it just isn’t working properly and needs to be repaired or even replaced. Occasionally however, I get a call from a customer saying that they can hear what sounds like a bird flapping around at the back of the fire, and that they’re not too sure what to do! Firstly, if this happens, do not use the fire – even in the middle of winter, otherwise the poor thing will die of heat exhaustion fairly soon. Secondly, just give me a call and I’ll come and remove the fire so that the trapped bird can be released. Please be aware that you should not attempt to remove the fire yourself as you could easily leave the appliance with a gas leak that, if left, could be very dangerous. Not only that, but the burner and injectors could become blocked which, again, could result in a dangerous situation. Over the weekend, I was called out to a customer’s house who claimed that they had heard something behind the fire which they first assumed was dirt or debris simply falling down the chimney. It was only on the Friday that they actually realised it was a pigeon trapped at the back of the family’s gas fire. In this case, it had probably fallen down the chimney and been there for a good week! When this happens, they never seem to be able to free themselves by flying out of the chimney the same way they got into it (maybe a question for a bird expert!). Needless to say, I attended as soon as I could, and duly removed the fire so as to free the trapped pigeon. Despite there being little room in the catchment space behind the fire, the poor chap had nestled himself into a comfy little spot, although by all accounts, had tried to escape through the very tiny gap in the draft diverter at the top of the fire. Sadly, this was never going to happen! The pigeon was a little unsteady on its feet at first, but was soon placed out of harm’s way, given some water and bird food, and left to recover for a day or two in the safety of the garden shed. The picture shown is of the actual pigeon, resting after its ordeal behind the fire

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