Man left without heating

Anthony Blake with his daughter Morrisa Ashley
Anthony Blake with his daughter Morrisa Ashley

A Lurgan pensioner who had been without heating for around three weeks, finally had it fixed after the ‘MAIL’ contacted the Housing Executive.

Mr Anthony Blake has been left in freezing conditions after a problem arose with his boiler.

Despite contacting firmus energy and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Mr Blake couldn’t get his heating to work.

The 67-year-old, who has had two heart attacks, suffers from arthritis and has a number of other health issues said firmus had sent someone out on about six occasions but each time the boiler went out and he was left without heating and hot water.

However, it is understood that while firmus had tried to help Mr Blake it was not their responsibility but that of the NI Housing Executive.

Mr Blake said he and his daughter Morissa Ashley had phoned the emergency Housing Executive number but they felt the NIHE ‘unhelpful’.

Morissa said her father had been ill for a few years and living in a freezing home had not helped his condition.

She explained that the ignition on the boiler appeared not to be working.

She said NIHE kept giving conflicting advice regarding whether or not to reset the boiler and suggested that Mr Blake top up his gas metre.

However, she insists her father was very careful regarding his metre, regularly topping up.

“He is on aspirin and feels the cold more than others,” she told the ‘MAIL’.

She said both she and her husband had taken turns in staying with her father to make sure he was OK and felt at her wits end last Thursday when they contacted the ‘MAIL’.

However, after a number of calls on Thursday evening to firmus and to the NIHE on Friday, the NIHE sent a specialist contractor to Mr Blake’s home to fix the boiler.

Morissa said: “I would like to thank everyone so much. It has been horrible for my father to go through this for the past few weeks especially as he has been ill.

“I am glad the heating is finally sorted now and I would like to thank all those involved who helped.”