A Southmead family received an apology after being devastated by a message warning they would be without electricity this Christmas.
Katrina Hazell, of Ravenglass Crescent, says her family lost power on December 22, after their central heating pipe burst and water poured through the ceiling of their wetroom.
This caused the wetroom and upstairs hallway to flood, with water entering the council house’s electrical sockets.
Ms Hazell, 40, feared a Christmas in darkness for the family, living off microwaveable meals, after Bristol City Council told her electricity would not be restored until January 14.
The family were concerned the outage would affect their ability to care for Ms Hazell and her 11-year-old son Adrian, who are both severely epileptic.
Ms Hazell said: “I was in tears when I got the message from the council saying how long we’d have to wait. I thought it was crazy, absolutely insane.”
When Bristol Live approached the council for comment, it apologised for the “confusion” over the length of the wait for repairs. Hours later its electrician restored power to the home.
‘Rude and dismissive’
(Image: Dan Regan/BristolLive)
Ms Hazell, Adrian and her other children – Connor, 20, Nevaeh, 14, and Abigail, 13 – were left in darkness for around 24 hours after the pipe burst.
She said: “After it happened, a plumber and electrician came round the same evening.
“The plumber did change the pipe but the electrician didn’t do anything. He walked halfway up the stairs, stopped on the landing and came back down again.
“He said it was too late in the evening to be taking the sockets apart. He hadn’t even had a chance to look at the sockets. He was so rude and dismissive.”
The next morning, Ms Hazell received a message from the council saying an electrician would visit on January 14.
She said: “I called the council and the woman told me they needed to give the sockets time to dry out. I told her the electrician had never even checked the sockets.
“We had no lighting, no oven. None of our sockets were working apart from two in the kitchen.”
Seizures on a nightly basis
Adrian has seizures on a nightly basis, which means his family always monitor him during the night.
Ms Hazell said: “Having lighting to be able to see him at night is important.
“We had to run extension cords from the kitchen up the stairs and into Adrian’s room so we could have a light.”
The lift was also out of use, which left Ms Hazell fearing for her own health.
“I have 10 to 30 seizures in a week myself,” she said.
“Last year I had a seizure on the stairs and smashed eight teeth.
“I got a black eye, a dislocated knee and put my shoulder out. The kids came out and found me in a pool of blood.
“That’s why we had the lift put in, but it wasn’t working after the power outage.”
She added that she has not been putting the heating on for more than half an hour at a time because she fears the pipe will burst again.
Ms Hazell said enduring cold temperatures without heating is having an impact on the health of the family.
What the council says
(Image: Dan Regan/BristolLive)
A Bristol City Council spokesman said: “We have assessed the damage caused by a burst central heating pipe at the property and the power was restored within 24 hours of the report.
“Further repairs will continue after Christmas. We know how important it is to our tenants that these issues are fixed as soon as possible, especially at this time of year, and thank them for their patience while we responded.
“We apologise for any confusion about an electrician appointment on January 14, which is for unrelated repairs and testing.’’
Bristol Live has approached Ms Hazell for an update on what still needs to be repaired in her house.
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