A 13-year-old boy from Port St Mary has been hailed a hero after he noticed the smell of gas during his paper round.

Hayden East was out delivering newspapers with his dad in the southern village when he noticed the smell from one of the houses he was delivering to.

Talking about the incident, Hayden said: ‘I am home-schooled and so me and my dad go out in his van to deliver newspapers every morning.

‘This was just a normal paper round, but then I approached a house where I could smell quite strong gas from inside.

‘I ran back down to my dad's van and asked him to call the police straight away as I realised this was a serious problem.’

Hayden had a visit from Lady Lorimer who delivered a personal letter from her husband, Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lorimer who thanked him for his outstanding effort and awarded him one of his coins for dedication to duty.

Dad David said this is not the first time that Hayden has spotted residents who might be in trouble. He said: ‘He has a bit of a track record for this.

‘He’s spotted homes where there is a pile of newspapers by the front door and his first assumption has been that the residents might have fallen or injured themselves inside the home and therefore needed assistance.

‘I think people would normally assume that these people are away on holiday and that’s why the newspapers are piled up - but not Hayden. He’s a really good kid.

‘I think kids on the Isle of Man are generally well-mannered and always look out for others, and I think we’re blessed in that regard. I am very glad that my son is like that too.’

Torden Stores in Port St Mary is run by Hayden’s parents David and Vicky. They said: ‘We’re very proud of Hayden, showing care in the community and a level head.

‘He carefully called out, making sure he didn’t switch any lights on or cause a spark, but nobody heard him calling. He made sure the police were called, who got the fire brigade to attend with them.

‘They found the person in the house and the gas cooker with one ring left on unlit.

‘The lady was so thrilled that he had jumped to action.

‘She visited him on that same day and gave him a lot of praise. Well done Hayden!’

In the aftermath, the 13-year-old could not understand why he was being hailed as a ‘hero’ by some people he had spoken to.

He said: ‘I don’t really understand why I’m receiving so much praise for this.

‘This is something that everyone should do if they found themselves in my situation. I didn’t do anything that others wouldn’t. People should always be thinking about others, and this is normal to me.’