Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) – One woman is fed up and it’s a fungus that is making her living situation an unpleasant one.
Action News cameras spotted mushrooms growing in a tenant’s living room inside at apartment on Nellis near Lake Mead.
Barbara Ruz contacted Action News to investigate the situation at the Lake Mead Estates, which is managed by Pinnacle Realty Management.
It was last month that Ruz says she first spotted the mushrooms creeping in from a crack in her ceiling. She believes the plentiful rainfall through January contributed to the problem.
According to Ruz, her apartment complexes’ maintenance man plucked out the mushrooms and painted over the remnants. She says she was revolted when she saw the mushrooms were coming back through.
“They’re gross. They’re disgusting. I’m horrified,” said Barbara Ruz. “I almost feel scared to be at home. From school, I brought home masks to cover our faces because I was so freaked out.”
The complex sent a third party testing company to assess the potential health hazard. On Wednesday night, Ruz says she received news that the mushrooms aren’t toxic but have a high allergy count. However, she says she doesn’t know what to do next.
Action News reporter Drew Karedes went to the property manager, however she did not want to be interviewed. After making several calls to the regional manager of Pinnacle, we were sent a statement by a spokesperson based in Washington state.
“We take the comfort and safety of our residents and their concerns very seriously. When there are mold or mildew problems, we have specific steps we take to protect the residents and solve the problem.”
This problem is something one mold expert says he’s seeing more and more often in valley apartments.
Bob Whitaker is a mold technician with Nevada Mold Testing, Inc. He can’t comment specifically on this instance, but says in many cases complexes simply don’t know how to properly remedy the problem.
“What I’m seeing a lot of them doing, they’re just covering it all up, cutting it all off or just throwing bleach on it. It’s still growing behind the walls. They’re not fixing the problem. They’re not fixing the water source,” said Whitaker.
As for Barbara Ruz, she’s hoping her apartment complex is prepared to take the next step to get rid of the mushrooms that are freaking her out.
The complex spokesman says Ruz has the option of moving to a different unit or another one of their properties.
We will continue to monitor if this situation gets resolved.
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We are so sorry to hear you are having these problems. We are not attorneys or physicians but are aware of many who have walked in your shoes. If it were us, we would document EVERYTHING. All phone calls would be followed up with an “As per our conversation” letter. The landlord would be put on notice IN WRITING of the problem. We would take a lot of pictures. We would get out of there ASAP if our family members were becoming ill.
There is a 3000 member support group made up primarily of people who have been thru this and professionals who work within this issue, Sickbuildings@yahoogroups.com It would be our suggestion that you post your questions there to understand what others in your situation have done to solve the problem; so you can better understand what is the best route to take for your family.
Best of luck to you!
My family and I have jist moved into an apartment less than 1 month ago that has this very same problem. I have no idea what to do. I haveitnence emailed the board of health and have gotten no response. Informed the Leasing office, they said to call emergency maitnence. Our family has since been getting sick, skin rash.. headaches, diarrhea, please help.
We have been haveing problems with this stuff since we have moved in this trailer and we have tried to cut them down and everything and i dont know what we could do to get rid of this stuff. I hate living with it and i wont let my dogs near it cause im scared that it will hurt them.