Homes left with no power for week af­ter me­ter catches fire on es­tate

South Wales Echo - - News - THOMAS DEA­CON Re­porter thomas.dea­con@waleson­line.co.uk

FAM­I­LIES have been left with­out elec­tric­ity for al­most a week af­ter a me­ter box caught fire.

Sev­eral res­i­dents on the Pen­rhys es­tate in the Rhondda have been with­out power since Sat­ur­day fol­low­ing the blaze.

Res­i­dents, in­clud­ing those with young chil­dren, have spo­ken of re­ly­ing on take­away food, be­ing “freez­ing cold” and “left in the lurch”.

Mum Marie Davies, who lives on Heol Pendyrus with her five-yearold daugh­ter, said: “I was in work on Sat­ur­day when I got a call to say there had been a fire and we needed to va­cate the house.

“They of­fered me a B&B but I was lucky enough to have a friend I could stay with.

“I didn’t think it would be very long but then they said it would be Mon­day be­fore some­one could look at it and then they said it could take up to next Mon­day be­fore it will be fixed.

“I was of­fered a one bed­room flat but it wasn’t fur­nished so that wasn’t suit­able and I need to be near where my daugh­ter goes to school.

“I have lost all the food in the freezer and they have told me I still need to pay my rent be­cause I have been of­fered an al­ter­na­tive. It has been ter­ri­ble.”

Eight prop­er­ties were ini­tially af­fected by the power cut, and seven re­mained with­out elec­tric­ity on Fri­day.

So­cial land­lord Tri­val­lis, who owns the seven prop­er­ties, said they been in reg­u­lar con­tact with res­i­dents and are work­ing to re­store power.

One res­i­dent said he hopes it will be fixed by his birth­day on Sat­ur­day.

Rhys Davies, 32, who has lived in one of the prop­er­ties for eight years, said: “It’s be­yond a joke. I have been left in the lurch.

“I have thrown all of my food out of the freezer and it’s been freez­ing cold. It’s my birth­day on Sat­ur­day, and I don’t want to be spend­ing my 33rd birth­day in the dark with with no elec­tric­ity.”

An­other res­i­dent, who has been of­fered to stay in a bed and break­fast by Tri­val­lis, said she had to fill her bath with water boiled on the hob.

Linda Bryant, 56, who has lived there for 25 years, said: “It went out at about 6.15pm on Sat­ur­day.

“Some­one came up on the Sat­ur­day just to see, but said noth­ing could be done un­til the Mon­day.

“It’s been ter­ri­ble. I have got two chil­dren liv­ing here – it’s not fair.

“We can’t do noth­ing. I have had a bath to­day [Thurs­day] for the first time since Sat­ur­day.

“We had to carry pots up to the bath, lucky we have got gas. It’s dis­gust­ing.”

Neigh­bour Kather­ine Llewellyn, 43, added that she has been “re­ly­ing on takeaways” and had to throw all her freezer food out since the power cut.

A West­ern Power Dis­tri­bu­tion spokes­woman said: “On Sat­ur­day Novem­ber 3, we re­ceived a re­port of a fire af­fect­ing an elec­tric­ity me­ter cab­i­net at a block of eight maisonettes on the Pen­rhys Es­tate in Rhondda.

“The me­ter cab­i­net and seven of the maisonettes are owned by so­cial land­lord Treval­lis.

“The fire caused a sig­nif­i­cant amount of dam­age to the cab­i­net and has dis­rupted the elec­tric­ity sup­ply to the seven ten­ants in the prop­erty who have been placed in tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“As soon as Treval­lis carry out the nec­es­sary in­ter­nal re­pairs we will be able to re­con­nect sup­plies to the seven maisonettes.”

A spokes­woman from Tri­val­lis said: “We are work­ing with West­ern Power to re­store the elec­tric­ity sup­ply to prop­er­ties af­fected by the me­ter cab­i­net fire.

“The cause of the fire has not yet been de­ter­mined.

“Any of our cus­tomers who have been af­fected by loss of elec­tric­ity have been of­fered tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion, while we carry out re­pairs.

“Our neigh­bour­hoods team has been in reg­u­lar con­tact with those af­fected in or­der to keep them up­dated with progress and an­swer any ques­tions or con­cerns they may have.

“West­ern Power has fit­ted a new mains unit, which now means that Tri­val­lis can be­gin work to re­store elec­tric­ity sup­ply to the homes of our cus­tomers.

“We urge any cus­tomer af­fected by this to con­tact Tri­val­lis di­rectly or speak to their neigh­bour­hood man­ager if they have any ques­tions.”

■ Yes­ter­day, Tri­val­lis said work­ers had been on site all day and aimed to have power re­stored by 8pm.

KYLE CARTER

Fam­i­lies have had to move out of their homes as they have been with­out power

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