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He Gums Things Up to Avert a Disaster

February 16, 1988|Associated Press

WEST SENECA, N.Y. — A quick-thinking 12-year-old boy used his thumb, a wad of bubble gum and a sock to plug a gas leak after the toddler he was baby-sitting pedaled a toy fire engine into a gas pipe.

Jim Bliemeister was taking care of 3-year-old David Higgins on Saturday when he heard hissing from the gas pipe. Using his thumb to plug the leak, Jim ordered the 3-year-old to get some gum, which he chewed and used with a sock to make a plug.

A worker from the gas company, called by the older boy's parents to fix the leak, applauded his quick actions. "He said I did the right thing . . . that if I'd waited, the whole house could have blown up," the youth said.

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