McDougald Terrace resident claims DHA told her nothing about CO issue

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ByEd Crump via WTVD logo
Sunday, January 5, 2020
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One resident claims she hasn't been contacted by anyone from the DHA about the carbon monoxide issues that have apparently sickened other residents.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- One resident of McDougald Terrace said she hasn't been contacted by anyone from the Durham Housing Authority about the carbon monoxide issues that have apparently sickened other residents over the past two weeks.

Nichole Thomas and her two young children just moved in a couple of weeks ago.

She says the man who helped her get into her unit made an off-hand comment.

"He was like, 'Yeah, two babies passed away.' He just grazed over it. I was like, 'Wait a minute. What's going on?' So he never really went into detail," she told ABC11 in an exclusive interview Saturday night.

Authorities are hoping autopsies on those two children will reveal whether carbon monoxide poisoning was the culprit or not.

And then a few days ago the issue hit even closer to home for Thomas.

"I know the lady further down, a couple of doors down went for carbon monoxide poisoning New Year's eve, I think," she said.

Thomas worked today wasn't able to attend an informational meeting for McDougald Terrace residents today.

It was organized by a community activist and attorney, Nana Asante-Smith, who said she wants to help residents understand complex public housing laws.

RELATED: Durham activist, attorney hopes to arm McDougald Terrace residents for legal battle with DHA

"What has become abundantly clear is that not being armed with accurate information it's difficult for people to understand what their rights are," Asante-Smith told ABC 11.

She doesn't think the DHA has done enough to investigate the issue that cropped up two weeks ago or make sure no one else is in harm's way.

And she says some residents who Friday night and Saturday opted to move to motel rooms paid for by RHA are now saying some of those rooms are infested with bed bugs and roaches.

DHA workers were going door-to-door Friday night handing out fliers explaining residents had the option to move into motel rooms.

But Thomas says they didn't come to her unit.

And she says no one from DHA has called or emailed her or provided any sort of information about carbon monoxide.

She says all her information has come from a Facebook page started by residents.

"It's horrible to move in and just be here for two weeks and find out everything that's going on," she said adding, "I am very concerned."

ABC11 reached out to the CEO of the Durham Housing Authority by email and text for comment on Thomas' claims that no one from RHA has informed her of the carbon monoxide problem.

He did not immediately respond.