Dorset

Lives 'messed up' after power surge in Bournemouth

Block of flats in Hamilton Road
Image caption Residents have been told work the repair work could take a year

Residents forced to leave their homes after a power surge caused a fire in a Bournemouth street have said their lives have been "turned upside down".

An electrical fault started the blaze on a roof in Hamilton Road in October.

Six families were moved to temporary accommodation while those remaining in the flats have been living with the subsequent rebuilding works.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said it was doing "everything we can" to help.

The power surge initially affected 470 properties and damaged electrical appliances in homes on St Clements Gardens, Walpole Road and Hamilton Road on the evening of 20 October.

Image caption Peter and Dolores Wallace had planned to rent out their flat to fund a move to France

Peter and Dolores Wallace had been due to move to France but their plan fell through as they could no longer rent out their flat in the Hamilton Road block.

Mr Wallace said the fire had "messed" up their lives "completely".

"People's lives have been turned upside down. We're in a stuck situation because we can't sell the flat or rent it.

"We don't want to be here - it stinks, it's dusty and it's going to get worse. It really is upsetting as it's no fault of ours," he said.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said the surge was caused by a fault with a connection on a transformer at a substation.

Spokesman Duncan MacDonald said: "We had a real concerted effort to contact customers and look after their welfare.

"There are still a handful of properties where customers haven't been able to go back and we're working very closely with them to resolve any concerns."

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