No heating for 400 Shear Brow homes after power cut

Four hundred houses in east Lancashire are still without heating following a power cut on Tuesday.

A cable fault on the electricity network in Shear Brow, Blackburn, caused a power surge in nearby homes at 10:00 GMT on Tuesday.

It affected boilers and other electrical appliances.

Resident Mohsin Malik said: "My dad thought the house was on fire. There were sparks and melted liquid coming out of appliances."

He said 15 appliances were no longer working following the power surge. His boiler was fixed by ENW at 21:00 GMT on Tuesday as a priority because his mother has a heart condition.

ENW, which has set up a helpline for residents to call, has also hand-delivered letters to affected customers, stating it would try to fix appliances.

It said if that was not possible, it would give residents a £300 "goodwill payment".

A spokesman for the ENW said: "Due to the unforeseeable nature of the fault, we have no obligation to repair appliances or offer compensation, however, we are doing what we can to make repairs and are offering customers a goodwill payment to help cover the excess on their home insurance."

'Everyone is stressed'

Mr Malik said residents had been angered by the offer by the electricity company.

He said: "Everyone is stressed.

"We are all really worried because people are struggling to pay the bills as it is."

"My TV alone is £400, so what use is £300? Luckily, the kettle wasn't plugged in so that is working."

The company said a team of 10 ENW engineers would continue working on properties affected, and said it was treating those with broken boilers as a priority on Thursday. The firm is also distributing heaters to residents in the area.

Blackburn Council has set up a temporary centre at Bank Top Community Centre in Oakenhurst Road to provide hot drinks and warmth for those affected.

The streets affected are: Altom Street, Balaclava Street, Bicknell Street, Bold Street, Charlotte Street, Inkerman Street, Limbrick, Lime Street, Oswald Street, Randal Street, Victoria Street, Watford Street and Willoughby Street.

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