A chimney sweep has told how she got a real buzz from work – after being chased by a swarm of wasps.
Dawn Peters was cleaning a chimney at a house on Dartmoor when she came across the odd obstruction.
The 39-year-old sweep said yesterday: “There was a dead cat in the chimney and the wasps were nesting inside the cat’s body.
“The brush dislodged the cat and the wasps swarmed out and threw out my sheet. I don’t like things that buzz and both the Lord of the Manor and myself ran out of the house and hit the deck.
“The swarm went across our heads – and we ended up laughing on the floor.”
Dawn, who is only one of three registered women chimney sweeps in the country, has been doing the job for the last four years.
But behind the odd anecdote lies a serious message.
Dawn, from Crediton, says people are dicing with their lives in the recession by cutting back on how often they have their chimneys cleaned.
“I went to a house to clean the fire and the owners said they couldn’t get their 13-year-old daughter out of bed, which sounded like a normal teenager.
“But the reason was that carbon monoxide was leaking into her room from the chimney. She was sleepy and lethargic because she was being poisoned.
She said:“It is all about public safety. But I am seeing people who have not had their chimneys swept for three or four years and say they won’t get them swept again for another three or four years, because of the recession.
“People cannot afford it even though it is £45 for a standard sweep – but that may be their weekly shopping bill.”