TWO emergency response volunteers who came to the aid of vulnerable residents trapped in a power cut for 10 hours have been praised for their efforts.

A power outage on Jessopp Avenue in Bridport left homeowners without power from 1pm on Friday afternoon.

Crisis charity the British Red Cross sent volunteers to help after a fault with an underground cable caused an outage that lasted until 2am on Saturday.

Electricity provider Western Power Distribution was alerted to the fault on Friday and engineers were sent to resolve the issue.

Resident Margie Barbour said: "Several houses on the street were affected by the fault and the electricity board was informed. They arrived, and within half an hour they realised what the cause of the fault was and that they would have to dig a hole. Realising it was a street with many elderly residents, the Red Cross came over from Bournemouth and handed out hot drinks and biscuits as people were feeling the cold.

"It was brilliant that they came to help."

British Red Cross volunteers Dave Edwards and Susan Woolham, both emergency response volunteers, were called at about 8pm as part of a long-standing arrangement with Western Power Distribution.

Under the agreement, Red Cross volunteers are available to provide support when it is known there are vulnerable people living in the area who may need help in the event of a power outage.

During the incident, Dave and Susan visited about 25 houses that had lost power and were on hand to ensure those residents were provided with refreshments as well as giving assurance that work to re-establish power was underway.

Dave Edwards, who has volunteered with the charity for four years, said: “Western Power asked us to attend the incident as they were aware that elderly customers were living in the affected street. Our role was to check on the welfare of the residents to make sure they had everything they needed until power was restored. A number of people came onto the Red Cross emergency vehicle where we handed out cups of tea and biscuits and reassured people that everything was being done to get the power turned back on.”

The Red Cross emergency response service operates throughout the country, working in partnership with local emergency services, councils and power companies to support those affected by a fire, flood or other emergency.

A spokesman for Western Power Distribution apologised for the fault, saying: “There was an underground cable fault in and around Jessopp Avenue. We needed to do the repair work on the underground cable.

The issue was resolved at 2am on Saturday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”