NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Melanee Packard lives around twenty yards from the house that caught fire more than two years ago on Duar Terrace in North Port. Ever since the tragedy she says she and some of her neighbors have constant respiratory problems from the apparent mold emanating from the vacant home. She claims the moldy air gives her life-threatening asthma attacks.
"I got a pool in the backyard I can't swim in. I can't walk my dogs. I can't spend time outside planting flowers or sometimes even just cooking dinner is a problem."
Roxanne Sturgis also lives close to the home. She has never had any breathing problems prior to the tragic event--but started to experience issues within a year.
“My respiratory started getting worse. I had to go see doctors I've never seen before."
And it even got increasingly worst in the past two months.
"It just got really, really bad. It’s just at the point where I'm using my inhaler every day or every other day.”
Melanee and other residents have contacted code enforcement of North Port numerous times."Their hands are pretty much tied. They're in contact with the bank. The bank has the property as abandoned, apparently it’s in foreclosure."
Another concern for residents is the constant loitering going on in the area. Anyone can easily go in and out as they please.
"People are breaking into boards, breaking into the home. We've seen drug addicts go in there. I've seen little kids under 10 years walk around there."
The house is just a constant reminder of their friends who died in the fire."I still see them in my head over there. It's like a sad reminder of what could have been is not going to be there anymore.