Homes left with no power for week after meter catches fire on estate
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.
Families have had to move out of their homes as they have been without power