Pensioner, 82: ‘I owe my life to Harold Wood councillor’

Terry Burland, left, with Cllr Brian Eagling - and the life-saving heater (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Terry Burland, left, with Cllr Brian Eagling - and the life-saving heater (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

A councillor turned into a knight in shining armour after he received a phone call from a man stricken in plummeting temperatures earlier this month.

Harold Wood’s Cllr Brian Eagling was called by 82-year-old Terry Burland whose heating had broken on Tuesday, November 4, meaning that by Wednesday he was facing a second night in the bracing cold.

“I got a phone call from this gentleman about 5.50pm,” Cllr Eagling, 68, told the Recorder.

“He said ‘Brian, can you help me’? I’ve got no heating and I’m absolutely freezing.

“So I spoke to my wife and asked if we had a fan heater anywhere. We had, so I called him back and told him I was coming round.


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“When I got there he was there in a big coat.”

Cllr Eagling helped Mr Burland, of Leyburn Road, Harold Hill, set up the heater and called him several times during the course of the evening to check everything was alright.

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“Brian, he said, I’m really lovely and warm. He said that’s absolutely super,” Residents’ Association Cllr Eagling added.

“The next morning he rang again and said ‘Brian, you’ve saved my life, and I thought, well that could have been my dad.”

Mr Burland, who lives alone and sees family once a week, said his heating stopped working on Tuesday.

He endured one night, but Wednesday’s drop in temperature – which produced the first frost of the year on Thursday morning –proved too much.

Mr Burland said he contacted maintenance but was told no one could make it out until the following day. So he contacted his ward representative Cllr Eagling.

Mr Burland, whose heating is now fixed, added: “He puts himself out for people – and you can’t say that for everyone.”

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