OAP left with no heating as gas supply is cut off

85 year old Isobelle Parker who has been left without heating. Pic: Lesley Martin
85 year old Isobelle Parker who has been left without heating. Pic: Lesley Martin
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AN elderly widow was left freezing in her flat for a week after her boiler was condemned and her supply cut off.

Isobel Parker, 85, had asked her gas company to carry out a routine service on her boiler last Monday.

But when they found the equipment was faulty, the workmen turned off the gas, leaving her without central heating or a fire.

With temperatures dropping, the grandma said she struggled to keep warm and even visited friends’ houses to heat up.

“I’ve just had to huddle down and hope for the best,” she said. “It’s been chaos, really. I was annoyed that they just came, turned it off and took my money. They said they would come back and sort it, but I’ve not seen anyone yet.

“It’s been difficult because a lot of my appliances are gas. I have central heating and a gas fire, but obviously neither of those work.

“My cooker is gas as well, so I haven’t been able to use that either.

“I’ve tried to keep warm by putting on extra jumpers and I have a blanket. It’s lucky the weather hasn’t been too bad, otherwise it would have been even worse.

“I don’t think it is a very good service at all.”

Friend Rose Paterson was shocked at the temperature when she went to visit Isobel at her home on Grierson Avenue, Trinity.

She was livid to find out workmen had turned the utility off, with engineers only able to return a week later.

She said: “When I walked into her place it was so cold, I insisted that she came to mine to warm up.

“I was just so angry that they would leave an 85-year-old, who is not in the best of health, in a freezing property. I can understand that urgent action had to be taken, but leaving her with no heating is almost like signing her death certificate.

“They must know that elderly people rely on heating. I’m in my 40s and I would struggle to cope.

“When I rang to complain, I asked what they’d have thought if it had been their grandma or someone they knew.

“I hate to think of her being cold and think it’s a scandal they could just leave her without heating, not knowing when it would be fixed.”

A spokesman for Scottish Gas Network, which undertook the original service, said it had taken appropriate action after finding a possible carbon monoxide leak.

It said the responsibility then fell to the customer to sort out repairs.

British Gas was contacted the same day to carry out the work and a spokesman said it was taking swift action to make Isobel’s case a priority.

She said: “We have looked into this case and make assurances that our engineers will be with Mrs Parker as soon as possible.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com