May 22, 2018
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Farmington may demolish vacant home ‘taken over’ by black mold

By Ann Bryant, Sun Journal

FARMINGTON, Maine — Selectmen were scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday to determine if a 199 Red Schoolhouse Road house is dangerous or a nuisance after black mold covered the inside of the property.

The board was set to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Municipal Building.

The structure, an added-on trailer owned by Lydia Cook, has been vacant for nearly two years, said Code Enforcement Officer Steve Kaiser.

An abutting neighbor, Melanie Nadeau, is concerned about the potential health impact of the mold issue and brought it to Kaiser’s attention.

An inspection was done at the end of April, at which time Kaiser said he found that “black mold had taken over the inside” of the home.

“In 30 years, I’ve never seen black mold like this,” Kaiser said. “It’s not only ruined the inside, but it’s structurally ruined.”

Kaiser intends to recommend to the board that the building be demolished and hauled away. It’s not salvageable, although the exterior looks okay.

“The outside belies” the inside state, he said. “I totally understand the neighbors’ concern.”

Kaiser thought water pipes may have frozen and burst, allowing water to run and soak the residence. With the windows and house closed, it was the perfect environment for mold growth.

The neighbor has hired Attorney David Sanders to represent her while Cook is represented by Attorney Margot Joly.

Members of Cook’s family are preparing her for a return to the Philippines, he said.

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