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Blaze fear for woman in flat with no alarms

Resident living in fear after ceiling leak repairs saga

28 August, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Vanessa Duncan says living without a smoke alarm is a ‘huge safety worry’

A HOUSING association resident has been left fearing for her safety after a repairs saga left her without smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.

The problems started when the ceiling of Vanessa Duncan’s flat in Pyrland Road, Canonbury, began leaking after the recent bad weather.

Her landlord, Peabody, came to inspect the damage and removed the lights and alarms from the ceiling in her kitchen as a precaution.

Peabody said it could not replace the alarms until a plasterer had been to repair the leak damage.

“The water was flooding through the ceiling,” said Ms Duncan.

“It was like someone had turned on a tap. We had five days of rain recently, and the weather has turned now.

“The repair seems to be holding, but in the meantime I’ve been left without alarms or lights in my kitchen. It’s a huge safety worry for me. What happens if I burn something, or if there’s a fire at night?

“They [Peabody] are telling me that they can’t fix the electrics until a plasterer comes, because the plasterer might refuse to do the work and then they would have to get an electrician to come back to undo their original work so the plaster could get on with it.

“But there’s no plasterer available until September. It’s not right that I’m being put in an unsafe position because Peabody don’t want to inconvenience themselves.”

When the Tribune contacted Peabody, a spokeswoman explained that the coronavirus had wreaked havoc on their repairs department, with materials in short supply throughout the peak of the lockdown.

The spokeswoman added: “The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority and we are continuing to carry out essential repairs whilst we gradually reintroduce our services safely.

“We are in touch with Ms Duncan to complete the repairs to her home. A shortage of plastering supplies during lockdown meant that this has taken longer than expected, but we will be visiting the property this week to complete the work.”

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