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Man ‘loses everything’ after burst water tank floods bungalow

PUBLISHED: 15:06 23 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:00 24 November 2019

Eric Johnson, 63, lived in Filby until a burst water tank flooded the house he was renting from Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Eric Johnson, 63, lived in Filby until a burst water tank flooded the house he was renting from Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Archant

A burst immersion tank flooded a bungalow and the water destroyed a man’s possessions.

A burst water tank flooded a bungalow in Filby, where damp has appeared on the walls and ceiling. Picture: Daniel Hickey.A burst water tank flooded a bungalow in Filby, where damp has appeared on the walls and ceiling. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

The incident forced Eric Johnson, 63, to leave the house, on Pound Lane in Filby, which he had been renting from Great Yarmouth Borough Council for nine years.

And on Saturday (November 23) he returned to the property to take a last look before handing the keys back to Town Hall.

All the furniture had been removed, patches of black damp had appeared on the walls and spores of mould were growing on the carpet, still damp almost two months after the morning, September 30, the tank burst.

That morning, Mr Johnson said he was woken abruptly by a roaring, thunderous noise.

Eric Johnson, 63, lived in Filby until a burst water tank flooded the house he was renting from Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Eric Johnson, 63, lived in Filby until a burst water tank flooded the house he was renting from Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

"I jumped from my bed and went to switch on the light in the sitting room, because it was still pitch dark, but when I touched the light switch I got a big bolt," he said.

The shock knocked him into an armchair.

He could hear water dripping from the ceiling and falling down the walls.

"I panicked. In the hallway I tried another light switch but got a second jolt," he said.

Eric Johnson, 63, got a shock when touching this light switch after the water tank burst, flooding the bungalow in Filby. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Eric Johnson, 63, got a shock when touching this light switch after the water tank burst, flooding the bungalow in Filby. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

By then he was soaked.

He opened the front door and his dog darted outside.

"The water was raining down from everywhere," he said.

That day he was put in emergency accommodation but his possessions stayed in the house for another week, he said.

A burst water tank flooded a bungalow in Filby, where damp has appeared on the walls and ceiling. Picture: Daniel Hickey.A burst water tank flooded a bungalow in Filby, where damp has appeared on the walls and ceiling. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

"I've lost everything," he added, listing off his clothes, bedding, television, washing machine, furniture and paperwork.

The council offers a contents insurance policy but Mr Johnson had not taken one out.

One week after the incident, the local authority rehoused him in a bungalow in Caister.

"I should be thankful I walked away with my life," Mr Johnson said.

A spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "Council-owned properties are maintained through a programme of planned improvements and responsive repairs to ensure tenants' homes are in good working order.

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"All tenants are encouraged to protect their personal belongings by taking our contents insurance.

"Where a tenant believes they have suffered a loss for which they feel GYBC is responsible, they can make a claim on our insurance.

"Where a claim is made against GYBC, it is thoroughly investigated, and the claim is either agreed or rejected."

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