Family is boiling over heating breakdown

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 January 2013

Marion, Tony and their sons Jack and Thomas huddled around the heater the housing association has provided.

Marion, Tony and their sons Jack and Thomas huddled around the heater the housing association has provided.


THIS week’s ice-cold weather has left a freezing Weston family huddled around an electric heater after 15 separate visits from engineers failed to fix their broken boiler.

Self-employed painter and decorator Tony Hoskins and his family were left in the cold after their boiler broke down on November 23.

This meant they had no heating over Christmas and were forced to turn away visiting family members.

Tony, aged 58, said he is now really worried, due to the recent cold spell, and told the Mercury the family home in Longridge Way is just as cold inside as it is outside.

The house is owned by Guinness Hermitage Association and even though Tony and his wife Marion have made more than 45 calls to the housing repair line, they are still forced to dress up in their winter woollies to fight off the cold in their own home.

The father-of-two said: “My wife, our teenage boys and I have been huddled around an electric fire in the living room to try to stay warm.

“It’s the only warm room in the house.

“All the bedrooms are cold and at night we have been wrapping ourselves up to keep warm.

“Last week they sent over two fan heaters that were so small they would not heat a caravan, let alone a three bedroom house.

“My wife now has a very bad cold and cough.

“We pay our rent on time every fortnight and they still do not seem to want to get this sorted.”

Tony said the family have been able to use their immersion heater to get hot water but said it is proving very expensive.

The engineers from repair company Hewers have replaced the boiler’s fan more than once, installed a heating exchanger and carried out a ‘power flush’ to try to unblock it.

All of these measures failed and Tony said the family is becoming frustrated and does not want this to happen to others.

He said: “We had no heating over Christmas so that was ruined.

“It’s getting us down and it’s time this was sorted out because it’s really exhausting.

“This past week has been as cold in the house as it has been outside. To me it’s just unfair.”

A spokesman from Guinness Hermitage said: “A number of repairs have been carried out to rectify the problem, but on each visit subsequent faults with the system were then identified.

“Our gas contractors, Hewer have been very responsive in attending and replacing parts and have carried out the necessary works in line with our procedures.

“Mr Hoskins has reported his concerns over the repairs process and we are currently working with him to resolve the issue.”

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