Keighley man's anger at heating work delays

Joseph Burke wrapped up in a quilt while waiting for repairs to be carried out to his gas fire

Joseph Burke wrapped up in a quilt while waiting for repairs to be carried out to his gas fire

First published in Keighley by

A Keighley tenant who suffers from severe breathing difficulties has been left without usable heating for at least seven weeks due to a delay in re-connecting his gas fire.

Joseph Burke, of Newtown Close, said his condition means if he uses his home’s central heating instead, he can hardly breathe.

“It dries out the air and makes my breathing worse, so I’ve been sat at home with a quilt on,” he said. “It should only be a five minute job to sort out the plaster so they can put the gas fire back, but they’ve done nothing for all these weeks.”

An Incommunities housing association spokesman accepted there had been a delay, stating Mr Burke has received an apology.

Mr Burke, 42, used to be a bricklayer, but is now too ill to work after first being diagnosed with the condition in 2010.

He said workers first came to service the gas fire in his lounge about ten or 11 weeks ago, but he had to ask them to come back another time because he was too unwell that day.

When they did return, a piece of plaster came off the wall, meaning the fire could not be put back in position.

Mr Burke said repairs were then repeatedly put back. He has now cancelled the job after Incommunities offered him more suitable accommodation.

“They kept on giving me dates, but then didn’t come out,” he said. “They kept promising and promising – it’s been driving me mad. Even my nurse rang them to ask when they would do the work.”

The Incommunities spokes-man said: “We carried out a free gas service at the customer’s home on January 16, in line with our legal duty as landlord.

“During the service, some plaster was dislodged from the wall by the customer’s gas fire. This meant we had to disconnect the fire until we could re-plaster the immediate area. This did not affect the customer’s central heating system, which has remained fully operational.

“Unfortunately, there has been a delay in completing the plastering and re-connecting the fire. We have apologised to the customer for this.

“We contacted the customer on March 3, but he informed us he does not now want the repair doing as he is moving to another Incommunities property.”

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