By Alexandra Warren
A block of 29 flats for disabled people has had multiple power failures – leaving them without hot water and heating for three days.
A temporary generator was installed in Dykes Court, Streatham, on Thursday November 20, but failed seven times in 48 hours leaving residents without electricity and running water for hours at a time.
All flats in the block are for disabled adults and children, many of whom require specialist electrical equipment such as ventilators and hoists.
Lifts were also out of service during the power cuts – meaning wheelchair users could not get in or out of their homes.
One resident said: “I was worried if there was a fire we would all be trapped and that is very scary when you are disabled. During one of the times it was off and dark I tripped and fell and banged my head.
“I feel that we were abandoned by Lambeth council and UK Power Network when we needed help. It was so scary in the dark alone.
“They are our landlords and have a duty of care which they seem to ignore most of the time. When we had issues with no water for 10 days last year the council promised we were now on a priority list if we called for help, especially out of hours, but it seems that wasn’t the case again this time.”
The power was first turned off for the generator to be installed on Thursday evening – but the heating and hot water did not come back on even after the work was finished.
This can cause serious problems for disabled tenants, some of whom are bed bound and find it hard to keep warm.
The generator failed five times the following day, leaving some residents stranded on the ground floor unable to reach their homes.
On each occasion an engineer required to restart the power leaving the block in darkness for hours at a time.
The flats also had no access to running water as it’s run through electric pumps.
Residents contacted Lambeth council multiple times to ask for assistance including torches and temporary heating, but none was provided.
The generator was fixed and heating and hot water turned back on by Saturday evening.
A Lambeth Council spokesperson said: “We were aware of issues that were affecting residents, and the company that supplies power has attended the block and undertaken the repair work needed. The issues have now been resolved, and we apologise for the disruption.”
A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: “After a power cut was reported last week, our engineers connected the block of flats to a generator. Unfortunately, this was tampered with numerous times by a third party, and we attended multiple times to reset it. We apologise for the inconvenience caused but would urge people to avoid tampering with high voltage electrical equipment, which is supplying power to the flats.”
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