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Family left without heating for five days because company ‘didn’t bother’ to warn of gas shortage

PUBLISHED: 13:46 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 20:11 10 April 2018

Laurence Castle said his home in Barton Turf ran out of gas last Thursday (April 5), forcing his family to live in a “freezing” house. Photo: Laurence Castle

Laurence Castle said his home in Barton Turf ran out of gas last Thursday (April 5), forcing his family to live in a “freezing” house. Photo: Laurence Castle

Archant

A family in the Norfolk Broads has been left with no heating for five days because Calor Gas failed to inform them about supply issues.

Laurence Castle said his home in Barton Turf ran out of gas last Thursday (April 5), forcing his family to live in a “freezing” house.

The 69-year-old claimed he received no warning from the gas company about its recent distribution problems, caused by the bad weather.

And he believes many other people living in rural Norfolk, who rely on gas for heating and cooking, could be affected,

Mr Castle said: “It is a complete shambles. We are freezing cold because we have no heating.

“If we had known there was a problem we could have cut back on our consumption, but they [Calor Gas] didn’t bother to warn us.

“They quite clearly didn’t have a contingency plan in place.”

Mr Castle, who lives with his partner and 12-year-old daughter, said his heating, oven and cooker hobs all rely on gas.

Their gas tanks are filled every two months during the winter period.

Mr Castle said his family had been “existing” partly on microwavable hot soups since their supply ran out.

A Calor Gas spokesman apologised “unreservedly” for the inconvenience caused, adding that Mr Castle’s gas delivery is now planned for today (April 10).

The spokesman said since the start of 2018, the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry had been affected by the temporary closures of three refineries.

“This temporary supply shortage was obviously compounded by the recent extreme weather, which meant we had difficulty getting vehicles on the roads” the spokesman added.

“It should be stressed that it is a small percentage of Calor’s customers, which either has a very low level of gas or has run out.

“We are prioritising these customers, including those who are most vulnerable and need urgent assistance – alongside those customers who have been out of gas for the longest.”

The company said it was delivering gas seven-days-a-week, but it will be a “matter of weeks” before it returns to its normal scheduling service.

“We are allocating our delivery fleet to the most affected areas to cope with high demand”, the company spokesman said.

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