A 63-YEAR-OLD man with a triple heart bypass has been forced to cook his crumpets by stealing electricity on the landing after a leak from upstairs blew his fusebox.
Patrick Collins was at home in Chertsey Crescent, New Addington, on Sunday night when water started "cascading" down his electricity meters and the lights went out.
He said: "It got straight into the meters and I said; 'I am not going to touch that.' The electrician came out and said not to touch it, that it was unsafe."
Not wanting to go hungry, Mr Collins plugged his toaster into the cleaner's supply on the landing until his electricity could be restored.
He said: "Tell me a judge that is going to nick me for that. When my daughter came up I was on the landing doing crumpets and my tea.
"She was laughing but I said 'what am I supposed to do'?"
The leak comes from rainwater coming through the roof of the block of flats onto the top floor landing and through to Mr Collins's flat underneath. He says the flat has suffered from leaks and damp for more than six years; problems he has reported to the council numerous times.
He added: "If the council had taken it seriously from the beginning none of this would be going on."
Retired security officer Mr Collins, who had a triple heart bypass operation last year, added: "I spoke to the fire brigade. They said it won't set fire but it might make a hell of a bang.
"I said, 'Well I have just had a heart attack; I don't need another bang'."
He added that damp and leaks appeared to be both cause and effect of freezing conditions in his home, and said: "I got my £200 [fuel money] from the government but it was used before Christmas.
"I am feeling it more this year because of my operation. It would be better if I had not started smoking again but I cannot sit here with all this going on and not smoke."
A Croydon Council spokesman said: "We were first made aware of the leak in December and arranged for metal sheets to be put in place on the roof. These are being manufactured by a specialist contractor.
"We have also cleared out limescale in the rainwater pipes which had prevented the roof from coping with heavy rainfall.
"We have checked the electrical fittings in Mr Collins's flat and advised him that there is no danger, and that we will repair any damage to his property as a result of the leak."