A PENSIONER claims she was left without heating or hot water for almost a week during one of the coldest spells of winter so far.
Valerie Barzey, 81, found it "impossible" to keep warm after a leak poured through her walls which left her with no gas or electricity.
Her daughter, Denise Gilley, blames Northern Gas Heating for the delay in sending an engineer to fix the problem, but the firm has denied it was responsible.
Denise, 56, said: "Mum isn't in the best of health.
"She has had breast cancer and more recently pneumonia and a series of
"This was all too much for her."
Valerie and Denise first noticed something was wrong shortly after having a combi boiler fitted in July last year.
They claim the pressure "dropped constantly" for several months before switching itself off completely.
Denise said all issues were promptly reported to Northern Gas Heating, but "at no time did they ever investigate".
The problem continued for months until things came to a head on December 4 when Denise noticed water coming through her mum's living room ceiling and down the walls underneath where the boiler was fitted.
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She said: "I climbed into the boiler cupboard and noticed the floorboards were wet, so we contacted Northern Gas Heating first thing on the following Monday morning, but was told that the engineer was in Scotland and could not attend until Friday.
"I explained my mother was 81 and could not continue being without heating or hot water for five days, but the company was adamant we would have to wait until Friday when the engineer came back from Scotland.
"I decided to stay with mother and the house was freezing – we had two little electric heaters in the living room to try to keep her warm, but it was impossible."
Northern Gas Heating apologised to Denise and Valerie for the time it took to get someone out to help, but insisted the problem was caused by existing pipework, not the recently fitted boiler
A spokesperson added: "The pipes were cut directly under the old boiler to remove it and the new boiler was refitted to these pipes.
"We never went anywhere near the pipes under the floorboards, which is where the leak was coming from.
"Unfortunately, Mrs Barzey's leak was a coincidence and nothing to do with her new boiler."
The company also offered to service Valerie's boiler free of charge as a gesture of goodwill.
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