Families claiming houses making them sick

Fort Bragg (Wikimedia)

January 5, 2011 4:38:35 PM PST
Several Fort Bragg families are coming forward telling the ABC11 Eyewitness News I-Team that their houses on post are making them sick.These new claims are being made, while a federal investigation is underway into the deaths of at least 10 babies on post.

Four families that recently reached out to ABC11 say they are suffering from similar symptoms that families whose infants have died on post also say they experienced.

"I started experiencing nausea, stomach cramping, my daughter would say she always felt itchy," a Fort Bragg soldier's wife said.

And her family is not alone.

"We had major respiratory issues," another Fort Bragg soldier's wife said. "My daughter had bloody noses, rashes that were unexplainable."

Both women asked that they not be identified out of fear of jeopardizing their husbands' military careers. But both say they believe something inside their brand new houses on Fort Bragg is making them and their neighbors sick.

One says her symptoms got worse after a power outage and cracks started forming in her drywall.

"Three or four days later I started experiencing dizziness, blurred vision and headaches," she said.

Their homes in the Linden Oaks community were built by Picerne --one of the biggest military housing contractors in the country.

It's the same neighborhood where an infant died last year. Another home in a different Picerne community is where three babies died --one in 2008 and two others in 2009, just months apart.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission inspected both homes and their agent suspects drywall could be the cause.

But Fort Bragg officials say all testing done for them to date has come back negative.

And they'll be watching to see if families in the future have the same complaints in the same houses.

"If we see patterns resulting in the house then obviously that gives us an indication that something may be going on and we'll address them at that point but I can't speculate into the future," Fort Bragg Spokesperson Tom McCollum said.

The families that spoke with ABC11 say they believe something in their houses isn't right, since the symptoms they experienced in their six months of living there have all but disappeared now that they've moved out.

"The rashes, headaches, itchy skin and nose bleeds are gone, I can breathe again," another Fort Bragg soldier's wife said.

They say something needs to be done before another family gets sick or suffers a loss.

"This is something I can walk away from or I can come forward and say this is something that we're experiencing, please take it seriously," a Fort Bragg soldier's wife said. "And I'm not going to rest easy at night if I know they're going to put another family in my home."

Fort Bragg and Picerne say they'll work with families to address their concerns and let them move out if that's what the family feels is best.

Meanwhile, the results of the federal investigation into the houses where infants have died should be coming back any day now.

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