Monroe woman says she's stuck breathing in dangerous black mold

Posted at 9:57 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 22:01:09-04

When Monroe resident Tabitha Larkin saw an abnormal growth developing on her windowsills, she knew immediately that something wasn’t right.

She says it had only been a few weeks since moving into this mobile home, and already some kind of black and musty fungus was taking over. 

At the same time, she was dealing with another issue discovered upon moving in, a major leak.

Larkin hired a plumber to come and take a look at the piping, but she says what was found and his response alarmed her even more.

He told her there was concealed mold all lacing the bottom of her mobile home. 

That’s when Larkin learned that leaks are often times the biggest cause of mold growth. Franklin Homes, the company that sold her the mobile home, did come out to make a fix to a broken hot water line, but they said any potential mold was her responsibility.

And now Larkin's biggest fear is losing her home. Before purchasing the property, she had been homeless for two years, unable to work due to crippling seizures.

But after being approved for disability at the age of 40, she scraped up every penny of that financial aid and poured it into a place to live.

Larkin says it’s hard to relax, knowing that she’s been sleeping near a bathroom that has this lurking behind the wall.

A mold specialist has confirmed that chaetomium was found in the home. Mold experts tell Channel 7 that if you have it, it’s assumed you also have stachybotrys, also known as toxic black mold.

Breathing it in can cause severe health issues. But Franklin Homes says their timeline shows the mold never existed at the time of sale, writing in a statement to Channel 7 that:

“It was her neglect of a broken hot water pipe...that went unattended for an extended period of time, coupled with the unusually high temperatures that she maintains in her home that caused the mold."

Larkin is still living with dangerous mold, and says she doesn’t have the money to leave or fix the issue.