It all started when the water mains froze in a block of social housing in the Essegem neighbourhood. That meant the heating was down. A new boiler had to be installed but that could only be turned on Friday afternoon.
To help out the municipality opened its festival hall to provide warmth and sustenance for the residents. Red Cross workers too were on hand to help out.
Municipal officials also toured the flats to make sure nobody needed extra blankets or heating appliances.
“It’s really cold” one resident (photo top) confided. “They didn’t tell us how long this was going to last. I’m trying to keep myself warm with an electric fire. The Red Cross was here with an ambulance and they handed out coffee.”
“The water was bitterly cold his morning” said another resident. “Fortunately my home is well insulated. I feel for the old folks and people with children.”
One home help told VRT: “I’m here every day helping out an old lady. It’s very bad. The windows are frozen on the inside. It’s that cold. It’s not acceptable.”