A north-east couple and their disabled daughter will not have to endure a cold Christmas – thanks to the intervention of the Press and Journal.
The family from Potterton were left with no heating or hot water following unsuccessful boiler repairs last week.
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Claire Carrigan, 42, lives with her partner Giles Hodge, 45, and their 17-month-old baby Esme and they had feared it would be the New Year before their heating was restored.
They had been told to prepare for a tricky and chilly festive period – having already turned to the generosity of friends and neighbours to take hot baths and showers.
Ms Carrigan said: “Our daughter has Downs Syndrome and her immunity is compromised due to the extra chromosome.
“The slightest cough and cold can take much longer to clear up.
“She doesn’t complain, but it has been very cold in the evenings.”
The family pay Scottish Power for annual boiler maintenance and called out an engineer last week when they woke up to a cold house and no hot water.
The engineer checked over the boiler and fitted a new circuit board, but came to the conclusion that the fault was electrical.
They suggested the problem was related to the connection between the controller and the boiler and advised the couple to call an electrician.
Ms Carrigan did so and enlisted the help of Don Electrical in Aberdeen, explaining that there was a problem with the fuses.
The family said the electrician had been unable to help and in fact suggested he had made matters worse – a claim denied by Don Electrical.
Nonetheless, the family were left in heating limbo, and with no indication of swift action, Ms Carrigan became increasingly desperate to get her heating back on.
She praised friends and neighbours for their assistance but having been told nothing further could be done until 2019, and facing a cold Christmas and New Year, the family contacted the Press and Journal.
Ms Carrigan said the family felt as if they were “stuck between a rock and a hard place”, with suggestions a new circuit board could cost them as much as £800.
Happily, following a request for comment from the energy company, the family were last night informed that a Scottish Power heating engineer would be visiting them today to fix the problem.
A Scottish Power spokeswoman said they would also be dropping off heaters for the family to use.
She added: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused. We are dealing directly with the customer and the issue will be resolved.”
Meanwhile, William Benzie, owner of Don Electrical, last night said: “I left the boiler as I had found it.
“We couldn’t find a problem and I could not find a Baxi engineer locally who could look at it.”