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Househoulds in De Beauvoir left with no hot water or cookers over Christmas after gas shut off for 10 days

PUBLISHED: 12:01 11 January 2019

Downham Road. Picture: Google

Downham Road. Picture: Google

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More than a dozen households in De Beauvoir were left without gas for ten days over Christmas.

Families were left having to shower with buckets of water and improvise when cooking their Christmas dinners thanks to the gas leak in Downham Road.

“I was very ashamed that my parents had to shower with a bucket of water,” said resident Miguel Solé, 25, whose family had come from abroad for the festive season.

At 11pm on December 19, Miguel noticed his boiler had stopped working and the next morning he found a message pushed through his letterbox notifying him of a gas leak in a neighbouring flat.

“We were really frustrated,” he said. “There was no communication at all. It was really hard to understand what was happening.”

Gas company Cadent then had to cut off the gas in order to fix the leak.

While it was off, the company provided heaters and one gas hob per flat, on which all water had to be heated.

Miguel said that his electricity bill was three times the usual amount and on top of that he had to dine out a lot more than usual because it was so difficult to cook: “It cost a lot of money,” he added.

Luckily, Miguel had an electric oven to cook the turkey on Christmas Day, though others will not have had the same luck.

In order to repair the leak, Cadent closed down a section of the road, so cars were on diversion.

Miguel said he was annoyed about the lack of communication by Cadence, which the firm put down to a staff shortage over the Christmas holidays.

He added: “The worst part was not knowing when the gas would be back.”

Mr Solé is still waiting for compensation, which he said will not be enough to “cover the pain.”

In response Cadence said: “Repairing gas pipes at flats involves following strict processes and procedures to ensure the work is done safely and effectively.

“We’re sorry for the inconvenience and disruption the loss of gas supply caused residents and did all we could to restore their gas supply as soon as we possibly could.”

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