Southampton family's escape after flat in Empire View was under 4in of boiling water

Daily Echo: The flats at Empire View in West Park Road, Southampton The flats at Empire View in West Park Road, Southampton

SHE woke up unable to breathe, and immediately feared for the safety of her young son.

And when she got out of her bed her feet immediately began to burn.

Looking down, Amarjeet Kaur saw she was standing in 4in of boiling water and could hear her son’s cries from the next room.

As reported over the weekend, hundreds of gallons of scalding hot water were pouring from her airing cupboard boiler – and cascading down communal stairs and into the flats beneath.

As Amarjeet and her son escaped, so did other residents in the newly built Empire View apartment block in West Park Road, Southampton.

During the evacuation, children had to be carried to safety amid fears they would be burnt as 15 firefighters battled to contain the torrent, which left some flats ankle-deep in water.

The drama began in the middle of the night when the pipe burst open in Amarjeet’s first-floor flat.

Moments later, thousands of litres of hot water began gushing from the boiler and through to the communal corridor, filling the area with steam. Beauty therapist Amarjeet, 32, who lives with her two-year-old son, Simranjit Singh, told how she had only returned home from a baby shower with her friend Eileen Levy at around 1am.

But they were awoken at around 2am by the boiling water entering the flat.

An emotional Amarjeet told the Daily Echo: “It was so scary, I can’t even explain it. We couldn’t breathe because of the steam.

“I got out of bed and my feet were burning. There was about 3in to 4in of water that had flooded the flat and I could hear my son screaming and crying.

“I just have this traumatic picture in my mind of what happened, and it’s killing me. It was horrible.

“I haven’t been able to sleep since because I keep having nightmares.

“Thank God we are safe. It could have been so much worse.”

Red Cross volunteers were called in to look after residents after they were forced to vacate their flood-hit homes, fleeing to the nearby Jury’s Inn hotel.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “The water was scalding hot at first and we thought that if a baby had put his feet in, they would have burnt.

“It was extremely hot and like a steam room.

“I looked through the peep hole in my door and there was steam everywhere.

“There was one lady in particular who was really distressed. I really felt for her.

“One of our neighbours who’d been walking around in the water had red feet because it was so hot.

“There was water going through the ceiling, and alarms were going off.

“My daughter was really traumatised by the experience because there was a lot of panic going on.”

Staff from First Wessex housing association were on the scene from 4am on Saturday to carry out safety checks.

Extensive damage was caused to the electrics, walls and furnishings in the flat where the leak started, while other flats also sustained water damage.

A spokesman from First Wessex said there had been “a few initial teething issues” with the block since its opening in 2012, when there was a leak on the roof above the entrance door to the building.

There were also initial problems with the lifts working intermittently, but this was resolved with no further reports of problems.

Last autumn, part of the large block was evacuated after a chip pan fire in one of the flats.

Some properties suffered water leakage as a result of water the fire service used to put out the blaze.

  • Additional reporting by Julian Robinson.

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:12am Mon 14 Jan 13

10 Minute Man says...

Not boiling. Unpleasant I'm sure, and necessarily scalding hot to prevent bacteria growth. But not boiling.
Not boiling. Unpleasant I'm sure, and necessarily scalding hot to prevent bacteria growth. But not boiling. 10 Minute Man

9:18am Mon 14 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

shhhh it was scalding hot/boiling. Echo knows best.
shhhh it was scalding hot/boiling. Echo knows best. Subject48

10:58am Mon 14 Jan 13

News Fanatic says...

Were the plumbers the same as those used for the new police HQ in Southampton?
Were the plumbers the same as those used for the new police HQ in Southampton? News Fanatic

12:52pm Mon 14 Jan 13

SRH74 says...

"One of our neighbours who’d been walking around in the water had red feet because it was so hot." - der wouldn't you put shoes on before walking through it (appreciate Ms Kaur couldn't) ? Torrent of water sounds like white water rapids....surely a slight overstatement by the Echo ? but hey where there's blame.....!
"One of our neighbours who’d been walking around in the water had red feet because it was so hot." - der wouldn't you put shoes on before walking through it (appreciate Ms Kaur couldn't) ? Torrent of water sounds like white water rapids....surely a slight overstatement by the Echo ? but hey where there's blame.....! SRH74

12:55pm Mon 14 Jan 13

jbarnaby says...

I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was??
I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was?? jbarnaby

12:55pm Mon 14 Jan 13

jbarnaby says...

I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was??
I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was?? jbarnaby

12:56pm Mon 14 Jan 13

jbarnaby says...

I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was??
I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was?? jbarnaby

1:41pm Mon 14 Jan 13

G0Rf says...

water boils at 100oC.
The temperature of the water in most radiators is about 80oC and hot water ouf the the hot tap is about 70oC.
water boils at 100oC. The temperature of the water in most radiators is about 80oC and hot water ouf the the hot tap is about 70oC. G0Rf

2:32pm Mon 14 Jan 13

S!monOn says...

jbarnaby wrote:
I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was??
Where you there too?
[quote][p][bold]jbarnaby[/bold] wrote: I think you will find it was boiling water were u there to no how hot the water was??[/p][/quote]Where you there too? S!monOn

3:01pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Yasinmusic says...

Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.
Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open. Yasinmusic

3:01pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Yasinmusic says...

Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.
Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open. Yasinmusic

3:14pm Mon 14 Jan 13

S!monOn says...

Yasinmusic wrote:
Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.
Apparently, there is free hot water at the moment... there is so much it is gushing out of the pipes!!
[quote][p][bold]Yasinmusic[/bold] wrote: Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.[/p][/quote]Apparently, there is free hot water at the moment... there is so much it is gushing out of the pipes!! S!monOn

3:53pm Mon 14 Jan 13

godsgift111 says...

Firstly, water boils at 100 degrees. This is kettle hot water. Domestic pipework does not contain water above 85 degrees C. The Southampton District System runs at around 90 Deg from the source, and will enter properties around 80 Degrees.
There is a large potential the plumbers nor the builders were at fault for this problem ... It could be the case one of the HA Tennant's had fiddled with pipework? This block has been occupied for over a year, and i personally find it hard to believe a pipe would just burst.
Also, I take my hat off to the hardcore tennants shown in the video defying human nature and being able to walk through boiling water. Not only this but filming at the same time.. this really is a amazing feat. Maybe Guinness world records would like a word?
Firstly, water boils at 100 degrees. This is kettle hot water. Domestic pipework does not contain water above 85 degrees C. The Southampton District System runs at around 90 Deg from the source, and will enter properties around 80 Degrees. There is a large potential the plumbers nor the builders were at fault for this problem ... It could be the case one of the HA Tennant's had fiddled with pipework? This block has been occupied for over a year, and i personally find it hard to believe a pipe would just burst. Also, I take my hat off to the hardcore tennants shown in the video defying human nature and being able to walk through boiling water. Not only this but filming at the same time.. this really is a amazing feat. Maybe Guinness world records would like a word? godsgift111

9:08pm Mon 14 Jan 13

100%HANTSBOY says...

Yasinmusic wrote:
Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.
are you sure?.....any chance I can pop round and verify your story? ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Yasinmusic[/bold] wrote: Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.[/p][/quote]are you sure?.....any chance I can pop round and verify your story? ;-) 100%HANTSBOY

9:30pm Mon 14 Jan 13

loosehead says...

Yasinmusic wrote:
Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.
Sorry but you can't blame a chip pan fire on the block of flats that's the tenants fault surely?
[quote][p][bold]Yasinmusic[/bold] wrote: Every things breaking in this flat, rain gets threw window, door handles falling off, buzzer not working, floods, chip pan fire, lifts breaking, this is the best part you can only top up your hot water from 1 co-op in whole of Southampton. The lifts vibrates the building. 1 good thing about the building, you can see the models at mayflower theatre naked.They love to leave the windows open.[/p][/quote]Sorry but you can't blame a chip pan fire on the block of flats that's the tenants fault surely? loosehead

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree