A pregnant mother was left horrified when a Parkdean Resorts employee sparked a lighter inside a caravan to prove there was not a gas leak.
Danielle Louise, 24, who is two months pregnant, arrived at the Camber Sands Holiday Park with her nine-month old son, friend Chelsea Dunbar, her partner Bobby Cartey and their three-year-old son on Monday (September 3) for a five-day holiday.
On Tuesday, the group noticed a smell of gas inside the caravan as they returned from a day out and called Parkdean to inspect.
A first responder from the holiday park was immediately sent to the caravan to assist Danielle, who was suffering from headaches and stomach cramps she thought were caused by the gas leak.
However, when he arrived, he assured the holidaymakers the caravan was safe, that there was no gas leak and proceeded to spark a lighter next to the oven to prove his theory.
Danielle, from Chelmsford, Essex, said: “The employee was a first responder. He should have been there to check on me and my child. He shouldn’t have been going anywhere near an oven.”
The holidaymakers also called the National Grid to send a representative from SGN who later confirmed there had been a gas leak.
In its report SGN concluded there was a fault with the oven which meant, when the knobs were turned, LPG gas was passing through which should only have happened when a spark switch was pressed. Instead, gas was passing through the oven when the knobs were turned and the spark switch was not pressed.
Danielle added: “SGN concluded there was a fault with the oven but Parkdean immediately told us they had carried out all their checks within the past year and there hadn’t been a problem.
“I guess these faults can happen at any time so I can see why Parkdean are not liable but they haven’t even apologised to us. There would have been gas passing through the caravan when the first responder decided to spark the lighter.
“My son, my friend’s three-year-old son and I were taken in an ambulance to A&E suffering from dizziness, headaches and stomach cramps. We were there for about four hours before the doctor gave us the all clear. Even then, he wasn’t too keen on us going back to the caravan and I even considered driving home but it was about 2am by this stage. I should have been staying there until Friday but I decided to come back on Wednesday.
“Had we not discovered the leak before we went to bed we could have been dead. We would have been breathing that in for hours.”
Chelsea, Bobby and their son remained at the holiday park until Friday but claimed Parkside had refused to offer any form of compensation.
Danielle added: “This isn’t about the money. If they had just dealt with the situation in the right way then we wouldn’t have to be doing this. The staff were rude to us throughout and the whole thing was just horrendous.”
A spokesman for Camber Sands Holiday Park claimed the gas leak was an isolated incident which was resolved ‘immediately’ by the park team in line with its customer safety policy.
In a statement, the spokesman added: “Following the incident an independent contractor investigated this and confirmed the safety of the accommodation.
“All of our holiday homes are inspected annually by approved contractors and the accommodation had a recent valid gas safety certificate. However a minor fault was discovered with an oven knob and this was rectified straight away.
“We are very sorry our customer was affected and we have offered a full refund for the disruption and inconvenience caused.”
Parkdean Resorts owns a number of holiday parks across the UK and, in 2017, was the British Travel Awards Gold winner, according to the company’s website.