It’s the biggest holiday of the year, but 25 families on one city estate are having to spend it in a big chill.
SHIVERING residents on a Sheffield estate have been left without heating or hot water for five days – after a pipe burst underground. As temperatures drop to just a few degrees, residents of 25 Sheffield Homes properties in Darnall have relied on fan heaters for warmth, and boiling kettles to wash, since their community heating went down last Friday.
Angry mum Elaine Jackson, of Coleridge Gardens, told The Star it was the third time the system - which is provided to 6,000 tenants across Sheffield - had failed her home this year. She said: “All through Christmas we have had no heating and no hot water. It’s been absolutely freezing, and my three-year-old son Calum is coming down with a cold now.
“I’ve not even been able to bath him because we had to boil the kettle to wash the pots. He’s wrapped up in clothes and blankets all the time – it’s not fair on him.
“There are elderly people living around here and it’s the worst time of year for this to happen.”
A Sheffield Homes spokesman said engineers had worked all weekend to find a contractor to locate the underground burst pipe.
The contractor and Kier, which provides repairs and maintenance in a partnership with the council, were on site yesterday.
Dozens of heaters had been sent out to residents and more were available if needed, she added.
But Mrs Jackson said: “We’ve had to put the fan heaters on, which has helped the house warm a bit, but we’re having to use our own electricity to power them. Apparently we will get compensation.
“But as soon as you turn them off it’s so cold again straight away.
“I’ve been told someone is coming out but we don’t know if the problem is going to be fixed because they can’t find where the burst pipe is and we could be like this until next year.”
The Sheffield Homes spokesman said: “We’ve been working all weekend to find a contractor who can dig up the road because it is a burst underground pipe so we need to look for it.
“Letters were sent out on December 24 saying there was going to be a problem and we’ve got heaters available to anybody who requires them. Thirty-five have gone out already and people can get as many as they want for each household.
“In total 25 houses are affected but there are some others that are having problems with their heating because of it.”
She also said that the residents would be kept informed of any developments and urged them to call Kier if they required more heaters.