BRITISH Gas have apologised after a pensioner was left for four days shivering in sub-zero temperatures after they left her without heating or hot water.

Isobel Kinnaird, 70, called the energy giants at 7am on Monday, February 8, after the boiler at her Linwood home went on the blink.

Despite her age and the fact she lives alone, Isobel was told she would have to wait until Thursday afternoon at the earliest for an engineer to carry out the repair.

But, when Thursday arrived, British Gas phoned to cancel her appointment, citing other emergencies in the area.

After protests from Isobel and a family member, an engineer finally visited at 9.30pm that evening to fix the boiler.

Isobel said she was terrified that, without any heating, the pipes in her house would freeze and burst during last week’s extreme cold weather.

As temperatures plummeted, she tried to keep warm by wrapping herself in a dressing gown and a duvet.

Isobel added: “I told British Gas that a four-day wait without heating or hot water was unacceptable but they said there was nothing they could do.

“I was told my case was not a priority at this time of year.”

Isobel said the problem was made worse as she lives in a rural part of Linwood, near Houston, which is very open and more susceptible to bad weather.

“When British Gas cancelled on Thursday, they said they had emergencies to attend to,” she added.

“Obviously they did not consider an elderly woman living on her own with no heating and hot water for four days an emergency.

“Eventually an engineer came out to fix the problem but, in all my years with British Gas, I have never had to wait as long as that.

“Luckily, I had my family in my corner to help me out. But not everyone my age or older is so fortunate.

“I fear for people living on their own if they have to sit for days on end with no heating and no-one to turn to.”

Son-in law Norman Muir, 49, who helps to care for Isobel, said he was shocked by the attitude of British Gas staff.

The ambulance operations manager sat with his mother-in-law on Thursday night until the engineer arrived.

Norman, 49, said: “To make an elderly woman living on her own wait for so long to have her boiler fixed is unacceptable.

“As Isobel doesn’t have underlying health conditions, we were told she was not a critical case and there were other people with more priority.

“How can a 70-year-old not be a priority?”

A British Gas spokesperson said: “We arranged for an engineer to go out as soon as possible to repair Mrs Kinnaird’s boiler. 

“On the day of the appointment, our engineer was delayed so we moved the appointment to later that evening. 

“We’ve apologised and provided a goodwill gesture in light of this.”