Family loses home after CO leak

January 11, 2008 6:05:24 PM PST
A Delaware family is recovering after a carbon monoxide scare at their home.

Officials in New Castle County condemned the home shortly after the leak was discovered. That meant a mother and her four kids have nowhere to go, but they consider themselves lucky.

"I thank God we were able to wake up this morning," said Tina Edwards.

She is also thankful for her brother. It was this unsung hero, a Newark firefighter, who knew something was wrong the moment he walked into his sister's home. Edwards said she had trouble waking her 2-year-old son.

"I had to shake him up in order to get him up because normally he's up and running around, very energetic and very active. My other son woke up and he just started shaking," said Edwards.

Edwards' brother immediately got the family out of the house after spotting an un-attached pipe where the water heater should have been hooked up. The heater was removed on Thursday by a repairmen sent by Edwards' landlord. She said the repairmen never returned with a new one, so she called her landlord because the family was left without water overnight.

"I told her I have an infant which I have to make formula for, so I need the water access. I have children. She told me to go live with my mother, and then she hung up," Edwards said.

County inspectors deemed the home uninhabitable while Edwards was at the hospital Friday morning getting her four children checked out.

Action News spoke with landlord, Sue Lynn, who said Edwards is disgruntled because her husband was recently fired as a maintenance man.

According to New Castle County officials, Lynn co-owns 21 rental properties. The county has received 20 complaints since 2004, all from tenants like Edwards. She also said her roof leaks, a wall is rotting away, and her children have been sickened by the mold growing on the ceiling.

"That's my home and I have nowhere to go. I have nowhere to put my children," she said.

Edwards' big brother has found her a temporary home for her family.