A ST NEOTS family left without heating for nearly three weeks have been forced to seek refuge from the cold with neighbours over Christmas.
Natalie and Jimmy Goldsmith breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday (December 22) when an electrician sent by Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (bpha) appeared to have fixed the broken boiler in their Loves Farm home in time for the seasonal festivities.
However just 12 hours later the heating broke again, with no engineers available until after December 25.
Mr Goldmsith admitted: “We actually felt very relieved on Wednesday and thought they had sorted the problem. However when we woke up the next morning, it was stone cold again.”
Big hearted next door neighbour Pawel Grygolowicz offered them shelter at his house.
He said: “We really like our neighbours and we have tried to help them and give them advice.
“I told them: ‘If you are going to live in conditions like this, please come and join us. It is nice and warm in my house and it is Christmas.”
The boiler first broke down at the Woodridge Crescent property on December 10 and the family informed bpha.
However when they returned from a 10-day break, they discovered the heating was still not working.
Mr Grygolowicz said he had suffered similar problems in his home about three months earlier.
Mother of one Kirsti Scott, 24, was forced to live without heating or hot water at her home in Bargroves Avenue for seven weeks.
She said: “It broke down on my son’s second birthday on October 24. It took two months for them to get it sorted. We were without hot water or heating for seven weeks.
“The frustrating thing was that nobody seemed to care. It was totally out of my hands. And the boiler still does not seem to work. We are still sat here with jumpers.”
When contacted before Christmas, a bpha spokesman said the company was aware of the issue with Mr Goldsmith’s boiler and had passed the matter on to Sandy-based builders Kier Parternship Homes immediately.