Fire fears prompt SBHA into urgent repair operation

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RESIDENTS in part of Denholm have been told not to use their fires – for fear of setting their house alight.

The warning comes after a survey by Scottish Borders Housing Association of 11 properties following a chimney fire in a house in the village.

And the Hawick News understands the fire brigade has also been called out to at least one other incident involving the newly-installed heating systems in the Ashloaning area.

The survey found that the stove-type fires were using sub-standard fuel which has increased the risk of blockages.

A spokesperson for SBHA told the Hawick News: “As a precautionary measure we have informed the tenants affected that we recommend they do not use their fire until remedial actions are completed.”

The affected residents have been told the remedial works identified will be completed by March 2.

And in the meantime, those who have requested, have been supplied with temporary heaters, while we believe specialist cleaners have been employed to tidy up the houses affected by soot damage.

The matter was taken up by Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall after being contacted by several concerned constituents.

He has since been in touch with the local housing association and demanded answers, although he is confident they have the matter under control.

He said: “I can confirm that last week I received calls from residents in the Denholm area who were greatly concerned about newly-installed heating systems

“I therefore raised several issues with the housing association concerned andI was impressed at the swift and detailed response that I received back.

“It is now my understanding that the housing association is working flat out to rectify the situation.”

The SBHA spokesperson added: “We have apologised for the inconvenience this has caused, but this has been a necessary precaution to ensure that all systems are fully functional before they are used again, and our tenants fully understand and use the required fuel needed for these stove-type fires.”