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‘Toxic boiler leak’ leaves mum and kids without heating and washing in sink

2 min read

A mum-of-two was left without heating or hot water for a week after her boiler developed a "toxic leak".

Jemma Whitmore, 25, from Chellaston in Derbyshire, said she was informed her boiler had to be turned off during a routine inspection on February 16.

But she said her and her two young children, Logan, seven, and Skylar, four, were forced to wash themselves in the sink using water boiled in a kettle and heat their home with two portable heaters.

It took housing association Riverside, which manages the property, a week to install a new one.

Jemma told the Derbyshire Telegraph: "I had a regular gas check and he said they've got to cut the boiler off because there's a toxic leak.

"That was fine, I understand that, but they should've come out the same day to fix it.

"I pay for them to solve it, it's added to our rent. This should be classed as an emergency, I don't know why they've taken so long to sort it out.

"We have two heaters that we are reliant on. Whenever we felt cold we have to sit in front of them.

"We've been boiling the kettle for hot water. The kids are better off at school and nursery than here."

She added: "They said an engineer would call me back, but they didn't.

"I rang them back a day or two later to see what was going on and they said they would get back to me and they still haven't.

"We are human as well – there's only so much washing we can do in the sink."

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Riverside, which manages 56,000 properties across England and Scotland, said a new boiler was installed on February 23.

Richard Plenderleith, Riverside’s head of social housing for the south and central region, said: "We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to Miss Whitmore and the delay to update her on the situation.

"A gas engineer carried out an annual gas safety inspection on February 16 which identified a number of faults with the boiler, so for safety reasons it was capped off and she was provided with two temporary heaters.

"Due to the faults identified, the engineer recommended that a new boiler should be installed instead of repair, and this needed to be authorised.

"Approval for it to be replaced was granted which regrettably wasn’t noted on the system.

"This caused a delay to inform Miss Whitmore that a new boiler had been ordered, and we apologise for this.

"An engineer visited the property this morning and the new boiler has now been installed."

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