Toxic Mold Ruins Jackson County Home

The Honrado family moved into a three-story house on Daisy Vestry Road in Latimer last September. John Honrado says "We came from California, and we were looking for a place to settle down, so the family could be stable, and I can retire from the NAVY. This is what we found".

But that dream home, soon turned into a nightmare. As soon as the couple and their three children moved in, they immediately noticed health problems.

John Honrado says "Everyone in the house was ill, the throat, teary eyes, feeling real tired all the time". His wife Cheryl Honrado says "I'm telling them I'm sick you know, I'm exploding, I'm gaining weight, this isn't me. It was just abnormal weight gain".

The couple hired a private home inspector to test samples in the home. The results stunned the family. The report found that the house is saturated with toxic mold.

They learned the toxic mold, which looks like black spores, is caused by water seeping into the home. But, they don't know where the moisture is coming from. Cheryl Honrado says "We've had water leaks since we moved in here, so it can be anything".

The family put police tape around the house, and a warning sign on the front door. Then they moved into a nearby apartment. They salvaged very little of their belongings.

John Honrado says "We lost things like couches, mattresses, all the electronics even, because the spores get into your electronics. Anything that can't be cleaned properly has to be discarded".

Then came worst news from their insurance company. Cheryl Honrado says "They came out, they looked, they acknowledged, politely smiled and said 'sorry we don't cover that'. They said it was pre-existing".

Even though the Honrados lost their home and most of their possessions, they are still counting their blessings. John Honrado says "We obviously have to start life over, start from scratch. But, at least we got the family out of here, so they can be healthy.  That's the main thing".

The Honrados say a toxicologist will arrive on July 24th to conduct more tests on the house. The family has also hired an attorney to advise them on how recover their losses.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

For more information on toxic mold, check out the EPA's Mold Resource Page or the EPA's "Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home."