PROPERTY: Mum says mouldy home made children ill

ANGRY: Emma Foster (35) has left her Burnley home because of problems with mould.
ANGRY: Emma Foster (35) has left her Burnley home because of problems with mould.

A FAMILY say they have been forced to flee their Burnley home over a potentially harmful mould problem.

Emma Foster (35) and her six children quit the Calico-owned house in Kinross Street after finding black and green mould throughout the property.

She claims the health of her children has suffered since moving in and believes the mould is to blame.

She said: “When you are in here you cannot breath properly. I have had so many health issues since living in the house. I have researched black mould. It can cause respiratory problems.

“In some cases it can be very serious – especially as my son Scott has neutropenia of childhood. His immune system just completely disappears so he is open to catching anything.

“I have another severely asthmatic son. His eyes have been watering and he has been wheezing a lot. His asthma is that bad he had to go to hospital. They put him on steroids.

She added: “My daughter has had a chest infection. She is only one but she has never had anything like that before.”

Miss Foster said that she first spotted mould growing in the property not long after moving in back in July.

“I had to call Calico out because there was weird green mould and black mould growing everywhere. On the walls, window sills, under the beds, on the carpets and under the stairs.

“There were spores all over my stuff.”

She said that Calico came to inspect the property and said the problem was a “mystery”. The inspector said that workmen would be back within days to drill into the wall and investigate the issue further. But, she says, they did not return.

Miss Foster said that the house was “sweating” and she was forced to buy a dehumidifier. She said there was so much moisture in the house that she had to empty the machine three times a day.

“Calico said there had been no previous problems with damp.

“But there is foil-backed wallpaper in the house which is for if you have mould coming through.
Calico have said it is an isolated case. But I have spoken to neighbours and they have said they have got the same problems.

“They cannot keep housing people like this. I have been forced to move out quicker. I am worried for another family moving in here.”

Anthony Duerden, Calico’s director of customer services, said: “Firstly, we would like to say sorry to Miss Foster and her family, that on this occasion we have not met our usual high standards for repair work.

“The damp at this property was first reported to us last month, having not been mentioned by the previous occupant. We attended within 48 hours of Miss Foster first contacting us but, despite our best efforts, it has been difficult to identify the exact cause of the problem and provide a solution.

“We are sorry that she has subsequently refused the works that we had planned, which will instead take place once the home is empty.”