Family in carbon monoxide scare

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A family checked for carbon monoxide poisoning after calling the fire brigade to their Preston home have hit out at Berwickshire Housing Association for ignoring their concerns.

However the social housing provider have refuted any suggestion they are to blame, maintaining that they “worked very hard” with the family.

All four of the family were taken to hospital last Wednesday after reporting a problem with the fire in their living room and complaining of sore heads.

Firefighters arrived to investigate and an ambulance was quickly called to transport Jerry and Wioleta and their two children- three year old Sebastian and 15 year old Damian to Borders General.

They remained at the Melrose hospital for a few hours but after no traces of carbon monoxide were found they decided to return home.

However, despite being given the all clear they are far from happy.

Berwickshire High School pupil Damian said they had told BHA that there was a problem with the Charnwood fire and were angry by the way their worries hadn’t been taken on board.

However, the association reject any claims of negligence on their part, stating that a member of staff advised the family to use only the suggested fuel rather than any other materials.

On inspecting the Charnwood just hours before the fire brigade were called, the employee found that a number of inappropriate items had been used to light it.

This corresponds with a report from the fire and rescue brigade that the stove was burning the wrong fuel which caused soot in the chimney flue to burn. The fire brigade also confirmed that at no time did the carbon monoxide detector (fitted in June) detect any carbon monoxide.

BHA claim they have been in frequent discussions with the family before and after last week’s incidents, using interpreters to highlight the dangers of using the wrong fuel.

This is in stark contrast to what Damian told ‘The Berwickshire News’, saying that his parents were still looking for answers.

A BHA spokesperson commented: “We have made every effort to engage and assist this family to use their system effectively and will continue to do so.

“We take exception to serious unfounded allegations that we have put them in danger.

“We have tried to help them through the trauma of this event and to advise and guide them in good use of their heating system.

“We have, as gesture of good will offered to clean their carpets which were covered in soot and water and this was due to take place earlier this week.

“We will continue to support this family and if appropriate to use interpreters to ensure our message is clear.”