New home with potentially dangerous gas leak

May 5, 2008 1:52:07 PM PDT
A Triangle family's dream home literally turned into a nightmare.

Their brand new house left them with headaches and hospital bills. Deborah Moore tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "We were dizzy, my head was hurting. My husband was dizzy." That's not the way you're supposed to feel right after moving into your brand new home. But Deborah headaches got even worse when she found out what was really wrong. She adds, "I'm like, what you mean a gas leak in a new home? I was stunned."

Deborah was stunned to find out that potentially deadly natural gas was leaking in two different parts of the house. Both leaks were hidden behind sheetrock. One was in her daughter's bedroom and the other was in the garage. Deborah says, "It was nothing that we caused. It was crushed in the walls and nothing that the homeowners did. It was something that was done in the construction."

Construction done by the builder, KB Homes, in October of 2007. Less than 2 months after moving in, the gas company told Deborah's family to get out. Deborah says I've been here 43 days and you're telling me my house is already condemned. He told me ma'am it's not safe and that means it is condemned." But it could have been much worse than headaches and hotel stays.

Deborah says, "We could have died in this gas leak." That's because natural gas is very dangerous. One spark and your house could go up in flames.

Deborah says she called KB Homes right away, and while they did put the family up in a hotel while they fixed the leak, Deborah says they weren't willing to pay their medical costs. She tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "We were at wits end. They were leaving us with $5000+ debt in medical costs and that's why we called you because we didn't feel that was fair."

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson got in touch with KB, who initially told her they didn't think natural gas could cause health problems only ignition issues. But once she showed them the Moore's medical bills, they had a change of heart. Deborah tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson, "Right after you left that day we heard from KB." KB Homes sent Deborah a check for all their costs, but it may be too little too late. She says, "I thank you for helping us so we can get those paid but I think we're going to have to move to the next level at this point."

Deborah's now considering legal action. She wants KB to buy back the house. She says she just doesn't feel safe there. Deborah tells Troubleshooter Diane Wilson KB did offer her another $5,000, but she says she did not accept that offer.

As for KB Homes, in a statement they said, "We immediately relocated the family to temporary housing and repaired the problem within the home. As part of KB Home's commitment to customer satisfaction, we have worked with the homeowner to reimburse expenses incurred."


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