After moving in, almost immediately our son started having upper respiratory issues, more colds than usual, a change in behavior, and having difficulty sleeping at night.
We thought there might be a mold problem, so we had the home tested for mold, which tested positive, and we had the mold problem cleaned and resolved. However this did not solve the problem with our son's chronic respiratory issues. The contractor who performed the mold clean up said that immediately when he entered our home that the house had a unique sweet smell, and suggested we have it tested for chemical contaminates.
After talking with the county health department, they referred us to the state health department which then referred us to a "clandestine drug lab cleanup company." We visited the state health department website and found a list of companies that specialize in performing this kind of testing and had a local company come out and test our home. The results show that our entire house is contaminated with methamphetamine residue, that our HVAC system and one of our rooms is 4 times the state's "safe for habitation" limit.
The county was notified and they issued us an order to vacate the property imediately, and that we have 45 days to get the house decontaminated. So we moved out of our home and have been living in a hotel for over 5 weeks. The company that performed the testing told us that everything in our house is contaminated and had to be removed. Anything porous or that can absorb chemicals (cloth, wood, beds, couches, boxed food, etc.) had to be thrown away.
We contacted our insurance hoping they would cover this massive loss and sent them all the documentation we had on the home. About a week later we received an email back from them stating that the "damage" to the property was "pre-exisiting" and not covered under any of our insurance coverages. Even though the "damage" is new and previously unknown to us.
Before all of this started we had enough in savings to help us in case of emergencies, such as a water heater going out, broken window, car problems, etc., however after the mold remediation expences, initial methamphetamine testing, and living out of a hotel room for 5 weeks has destroyed our savings.
We have sought help from everyone and every agency available but there just isn't any resource available for victims of this sort of tragedy. We've been able to secure enough funding to get the home partially decontaminated but even if we get it all cleared up we wont have enough money left at the end of the month to replace basic necessities, like a bed for my son, or a table to sit at for dinner.
Please, anything you can send our way to help us get back on our feet is greatly appreciated!
- Cheryl Tenney
- Rhonda Renfrow
- Shane Freund
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