VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Lincoln Military Housing has had issues with toxic molds over the last decade. They have been the spotlight of TV stories, sued by military families, and chastised by lawmakers.
But still, families had to face poisonous fungi every day. And the Purcells are not the only ones to face these issues. For the decades’ families living in Lincoln Military Housing had to face fungi issues.
“I honestly do not know what to do,” said Navy wife Kimberly Purcell, “The house does not get fixed,” she added.
As a resigned Marine and Navy spouse, Purcell learned the significance of the organisation. However, she was unaware that she would use those abilities so much over the last year.
Fourteen binders are presently stacked on her kitchen table, recording a four-month loathsomeness that began last May when the family got orders to head to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
Purcell reported, “Honestly, we were kind of in a panic, and we needed a place for our kids. We have five kids, and we didn’t even feel that hotels were safe at the time because of the pandemic.”
A home on base managed by Lincoln Military Housing was allocated to the purcells, and they said that things weren’t right from the moment they arrived there.
Purcell said, “The smell, it kind of hits you as the door opens. So I started going through my inspection, and I think I only made it through a half bathroom and the kitchen, and I had four pages of notes.”
The house had a new rug and new paint, yet that smelly odour of molds just continued to linger.
“It was terrifying,” she said, “I prayed over my children every night that they wouldn’t breathe in that air, and I wrote over 100 maintenance requests, essentially pleading that they fix this place.”
“My children were getting sick; we didn’t find out until later that all of these symptoms could be related to the mold,” she further added.
Purcell reported that her house was full of toxic molds; she found molds everywhere she looked.
“I was afraid, what was in there and asking Lincoln Military Housing to test and they refused to, asking them to control the humidity and they wouldn’t, asking them to fix the HVAC,” Purcell further added.
In October, the Purcells had enough, and they decided to leave that house. They moved out and left everything including, furniture and others usable, in their home behind.
“We didn’t take couches or beds, there are still clothes on the hangers, all the schoolbooks are left in the house, and it’s a big loss,” she said.
Like the Purcells, many other families are sick of dealing with mold issues every day. As a result, they plan to sue Lincoln for failure to maintain a safe place to live.
The Purcells sought help from a private company to run the test for mold, and the results shocked them.
“Stachybotrys, the one that everybody considers black mold, but it wasn’t the only bad mold,” Purcell added.
Purcell reported that her family was aware of the presence of molds in various parts of her house.
“We were positive for mold in the kitchen, in the living room, in the master bedroom, the kids’ bathroom, the kids’ bedrooms, crawl space, and attic,” she said.
“This issue I started working on 2011,” added Senator Mark Warner. “We have sailors deployed, and family is back at home and an unsafe living condition, and that’s outrageous.”
Lincoln military signed a 50-year contract with the Department of Defense, and over the last decade, Warner has continued to call out Lincoln Military. Because in his opinion, the agreement needs to be broken.
“I think it is time to say these guys have violated time and again we need to rebid or rethink this whole arrangement,” Warner added.
“Our families should not go through this,” Purcell said. “This is not something we asked for. We send out loved ones to protect our country, but when we ask our country to give us a safe place to live, there is nothing they can do for us.”
“We’ve embarrassed companies, we’ve embarrassed the Navy, we’ve passed legislation, and we still have these circumstances. That’s not fair, I hear her in tears, and she is 100% right,” Warner added.
The Purcells are looking for more legal options against Lincoln Military. A few days back, more than 15 families facing mold issues filed lawsuits in Washington state against Lincoln Military.
Fungi commonly grow in damp places or places with water leaks. Not all fungi are toxic, but the ones that release molds are included in poisonous species of fungi, and a few of the fungi are edible species.
Toxic fungi contain fruiting bodies that are responsible for the release of molds. And trichothecene mycotoxins are produced by multiple genres of fungi and its common poisonous. And other common toxic fungi are the death cap and gilled mushroom.
Molds release mycotoxins, that when inhaled, can cause lung and liver damage, allergies, respiratory issues, liver and kidney problems, stomach pain, and can results in death if exposed to molds for a longer duration.