Elderly couple left in the cold after two day wait for gas to be turned back on

Joan and Sidney Wilson who went without heating for two days after a serious fire to their neighbour

Joan and Sidney Wilson who went without heating for two days after a serious fire to their neighbouring house on Daphne Way.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

An elderly couple were left in the cold as they struggled to get their gas turned back on following a fire at their neighbour’s house.

A home on Daphne Way was engulfed in flames on Wednesday, January 20, in which local residents had to be evacuated for their own safety.

Joan and Sidney Wilson, left their home where the gas had been turned off, as flames engulfed the house next door.

The couple, aged 88 and 91, returned a day later and said they rang their providers Eon to come and turn their gas back on.

However, a representative from National Grid turned up and was unable to do anything as a gas safety check was required.

Mrs Wilson, said: “The fire was dreadful and thankfully no one was hurt – but once we returned the house was so cold and I spent a lot of the day ringing around trying to get someone to turn the gas back on.

“Our providers Eon said they would send someone over in three hours, and someone from National Grid came. They had a look around but couldn’t do anything with the pipes inside.

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“Me and my husband were excited to have the heating turned back on, I just don’t know why they had someone come over to say they can’t do anything.”

“If it had been like some of the wintery conditions we have had then it would have been really bad.”

The couple hired a gas safety engineer who turned up the following morning to turn the gas back on.

A spokesman for EON, said: “We’ve looked into Mrs Wilson’s account and we’ve had no contact with Mrs Wilson regarding this issue.

“We have spoken to National Grid who advised us that they performed a safety check on January 21, as a result of the fire at the neighbouring property.

“The National Grid engineer checked the supply up to the meter, which is their responsibility, however was unable to connect the internal appliances as a gas safety check was required.

“The gas safety check is the responsibility of the home owner or landlord who would be required to employ the services of a gas safety engineer.”

Joan Newson, 89, who was also evacuated from her home during the fire, is still cleaning up the mess left behind.

Mrs Newson has cleaned the house from top to bottom, including the carpets which were black as a result of the fire.

She said: “It has taken me all week to clean this place up, it still smells of smoke today.”

The house which was engulfed in flames, is a Great Yarmouth Borough Council home which is believed to belong to an Emma Carter.

The 33-year-old was reported missing on January 18 – but police later confirmed she was found on January 21.

Norfolk Police have said that the cause of the fire is still unexplained and that the CSI and a fire investigation team have been to the house, and it is being treated as a criminal investigation.

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “GYN, which undertakes maintenance and asset management on behalf of Great Yarmouth Community Housing, has appointed a structural surveyor to assess the property in Daphne Way, Gorleston-on-Sea.

“There is significant fire, smoke and water damage to the interior of the property but the extent of the works required will be determined once the surveyor’s report is finalised. Since the fire was extinguished, the building has been made secure.”