New door saga is finally closed

A PERMANENT front door has been installed at a social housing tenant’s flat – four years after the original door was smashed in by firefighters during a medical emergency.

Trevor Staples, who lives in an older person’s complex at French’s Wells, Goldsworth Park, has had temporary wooden doors at his flat since May 2017.

Trevor Staples with the permanent front door installed at his flat

The first was fitted after a fire crew rescued him when he was lying helpless on the hall floor due to a health problem. It was replaced more than three years later after a fire brigade inspector had condemned it as being unsafe because of wide gaps at the top and a lack of smoke seals.

The News & Mail has reported several times the constant pleas of Mr Staples, 75, for a permanent front door to be installed. His case was taken by up Woking Citizen’s Advice, Age Concern and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, which all contacted social housing manager New Vision Homes (NVH) on his behalf.

NVH promised several times that a uPVC-composite door like the one that was damaged would be installed. Then, last year, it said manufacturing delays and contractors not working because of the COVID-19 pandemic were holding up the replacement.

An installer of doors and windows in the Woking area told the News & Mail last November that there were supply problems, but it could order a new, fully compliant, door for the flat and install it in February.

Now Mr Staples – who was told by NVH that he was “vexatious” and later won an apology and £200 compensation from the company –has a new, sturdy front door that meets all the latest fire safety standards.

“I can’t complain about the workmen who fitted it, as they did a good job,” he said. “I’m really grateful to everyone who helped me get this problem solved, including Citizens Advice, Age Concern, the fire officer and the News & Mail.”

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