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Power cut as park homes hit by surge

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

  • David and Daphne Austin in their home PIC BY PAUL HAMLYN

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MORE THAN 100 residents of a park home estate were left without electricity after a power surge blew up appliances at their site.

Residents of St Dominic Park, Harrowbarrow, were left counting the cost after the power surge blew up TVs, microwaves and even melted plugs on Thursday.

Western Power Distribution was carrying out maintenance work on site at the time – and has now apologised to affected residents.

Tony Turner, 70, chairman of the park's residents' association, said: "Some of the elderly were alarmed and I contacted the fire service.

"There were some explosions in the sockets."

Some residents on the site also depend on power for their medical equipment.

Pete Collins, 63, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago, relies on a dialysis machine.

His wife Carole, 62, said: "He has to heat up his dialysis machine four times a day – the first night we had to boil a kettle but now the electric is back on.

"He gets very cold and we have been using an oil heater to keep warm.

Mrs Collins said she had to replace his blood pressure monitor herself after it was damaged.

Another couple, David Austin, 73, and wife Daphne, 72, who suffers with multiple sclerosis, did not have heating for two days after the surge.

Mr Austin said: "The damage has been inconvenient – my wife is permanently disabled and uses an air mattress that was getting repaired at the time of the surge, and the pump was blown up and now she can't use it.

"We are finding it hard to leave the house because we are waiting for someone to come and deal with us. It's a pain in the backside.

"The thermostat was blown up, so now we can't control the heating."

Western Power tried to resolve the problem and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service sent two crews to ensure there was no imminent risk of fire.

A fire spokesman said: "We checked that everyone was OK as a precautionary measure in case of a fire."

Western Power said it will replace all the damaged equipment and it sent in loss adjustors.

A spokesman for Western Power said: "Western Power Distribution apologises to the residents of St Dominic's Residential Park who have been affected by a fault on the electricity network last Thursday.

"Our insurance loss adjusters have been on site since last Friday to assess individual damage to electrical appliances. Letters with contact numbers have been left for any customer who was not at home when the loss adjustor called. We are working with our customers to resolve this as quickly as possible."

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