ELDERLY residents in part of Huddersfield have had their gas cut off for more than three weeks.
Some residents of Berry Brow have been without central heating and hot water after the gas supply was stopped at their block of flats in one of the coldest months of the year.
Twelve flats at Wain Court have been without gas since February 6 after the supply had to be cut off following a leak.
And they may be left without supplies for another two weeks.
The problems started when a workman visiting the flats smelled gas and reported it.
United Utilities – working for distributor Northern Gas Networks – cut off the gas supply.
Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, which owns the flats, identified residents in need of support and delivered two-plate electric stoves and small electric heaters provided by United Utilities.
But residents say it has been difficult to cope for so long with basic equipment.
Some of the residents are vulnerable people in their 80s and 90s.
Tom Martin, 72, and wife Elizabeth, 71, say they have been struggling, especially during recent cold weather.
“It’s like living in an ice box, “said Mr Martin. “I have bought extra heaters and electric blankets. We have spent most of our time going out to warm places, but not everyone can.
“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time because of the weather.”
The couple say residents have been kept in the dark about the problem and how long it is likely to take to be fixed.
Mr Martin added: “We are like mushrooms sitting in the dark, we’ve not been told anything.”
A United Utilities spokeswoman apologised for the length of time residents have been without gas.
She said problems with repairing the pipes had caused delays. Workmen were hoping to fill in leaks in the pipes, but as the blocks are six storeys high this method would not work.
The company has been left with no alternative but to put new pipes on the outside of the building to replace those inside.
The spokeswoman said the work was expected to finish in two weeks.
She added: “We are really sorry for the length of time these residents have been without gas.
“We appreciate it’s really inconvenient for them and we are working as hard as possible to put it right.”
She said residents would be eligible for compensation and a customer liaison officer should visit all people affected to explain how this could be claimed.