RICHMOND, Utah (ABC4 News) – Monte and Karen Frandsen never thought their dream home would be unsafe to live in.
“Your home should be your haven,” Karen Frandsen said. “It’s horrible.”
The problems started last year when their son Josh got extremely sick. The 16 year old has autism and couldn’t tell his family he was having frequent dizzy spells.
“We finally came up with a scale system of one through five to determine the kind of day he was having and how dizzy he was,” Monte Frandsen, Josh’s father, said.
The family took Josh to doctors and specialists. He underwent dozens of tests. No one could diagnose the teen’s symptoms.
“It’s heart wrenching to watch your kid suffer and you don’t know why,” Karen said.
Monte and Karen realized there was a bigger problem when they fell ill too. They had their house swept from top to bottom by numerous inspectors.
“All those tests kept coming back that everything was fine,” Monte said.
A Bear River Health Department worker finally found the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s, a gaseous release from a chemical. It was emitting from a hole in Frandsen’s basement.
They have also detected high levels of carbon dioxide emitting from the basement hole.
The family dug the hole last year to pump out water that had flooded their basement after a storm.
The Frandsen’s believe the VOC’s have seeped into the ground from chemicals that were stored near a shed next to their home.
The owner of an extermination company used to store empty jugs and fertilizer near the Frandsen’s house for years before the family built their house next to his property.
“Some days I would find an excuse to leave my house because my eyes would hurt,” Karen said.
The Frandsen family took pictures of the empty jugs near the shed, which has since been removed. They said chemical odors have diminished, but are not completely gone.
Karen said local and state government agencies have been no help. They hope someone will help them figure out what is going on beneath their home.
“It’s like living a nightmare everyday,” she added.