Family Living in Hotels Because of Toxic House

October 13, 2017 02:22 PM

Kristen Lambert and her husband Travis purchased a five-bedroom home in Chaska, costing nearly $500,000.

They bought it thinking it would be their dream home.

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"Beautiful neighborhood, beautiful house. It was like our dream, nice lot," Kristen said. 

The family moved into the house in May. But after only a month, they encountered a smell. And by the third month, it was overwhelming.

Then Kristen and her 3-year-old began getting physically sick. 

"How does this happen with a brand new home," she asked. 

News of what could possibly be wrong came through the mail. 

"We received a letter in July from our builder notifying us that we had joists in our basement that possibly could have been recalled because of formaldehyde levels being (emitted) from the joists," Lambert said. 

So the couple turned to builder Lennar Homes. Lambert said they were told they would need to contact Weyerhaueser, the lumber supplier, to get things fixed.

After much back and forth, she said Weyerhaeuser eventually tested the house a few weeks later.

But the company wouldn't give them the results, so the couple contacted an attorney.

She said air emission levels confirmed by their attorney showed the level 90 times above OSHA working standards.

That's when the family promptly moved out. 
    
"So we left," Lambert said. "We went to a hotel that night and we've been moving around hotel to hotel ever since. This was in August and here it is October." 

Lambert said Weyerhaeuser is paying for the hotel rooms.

The company released a statement in July:

"We deeply regret the disruption and inconvenience this situation has caused," said Doyle R. Simons, the Weyerhaeuser president and CEO in the release. "Our top priority is to take care of our customers and their customers. We are absolutely committed to doing the right thing and resolving this situation as quickly as possible."

The company said the joists have been found in 2,500 homes nationwide. And that 1,500 have been fixed.

But Lambert said that 1,500 doesn't include her house. 

Weyerhaeuser said they are not fixing individual homes.

Rather it is up to homeowners to contact individual contractors and Weyerhaeuser will work with them.

“Weyerhaeuser is working directly with builders and homeowners to complete remediation for every home as soon as possible. The company is covering the cost for remediation as well as temporary housing needs for homeowners during the remediation process.”

Credits

Todd Wilson

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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