Moldy mushrooms in New Lenox apartment present growing problem

Moldy mushrooms in New Lenox apartment present growing problem

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Mushrooms are wonderful when they're cooked up and served on a steak, but when they're growing out of your apartment wall, not so much.

"About a week and a half ago, all of a sudden my girlfriend noticed a mushroom that came out from under our cabinet," said resident Matthew Schwertferger.

Schwertferger, his girlfriend Sarah Zeibert and their three-month-old daughter Mckenna are now moving out of their New Lenox apartment building in the Country Creek subdivision.

"It blew my mind. I had no idea why a mushroom should be growing out of someone's cabinet, at all,” Schwertferger said. "[It’s] a sign that there definitely might be a mold issue."

Schwertferger said a quick check behind a wall found a thick coating of black mold on the baseboard, and more mold under the floor; apparently due to a leaky water heater.

"We pulled this floor apart. This was all black coming out a couple feet,” added Schwertferger. “It just reeks like mold.”

He complained to the landlord, who sent over a handyman whom Schwertferger said did nothing. That's when the couple decided to break their lease and bail.

"She’s a three-month-old child. She shouldn't be exposed to molds like that. First off they pulled everything up. It's all in the air. They just left it like that. We had to leave," said Zeibert.

"They did find some mold and other issues of code enforcement," said New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba. Sterba said that a village inspector found multiple code violations and wrote three letters to the building's owner. "We'll give him a reasonable amount of time to fix these problems and address them in an appropriate manner."

FOX 32 News called and left messages with the landlord, but never heard back.

Adding injury to insult, after discovering the mold, Schwertferger had to go to the hospital after the railing on the second floor porch gave way and he fell 12 to 15 feet.

"I got a nice bruise on my arm from where I fell," he said.

The New Lenox Police Chief said it's not the first time they've had issues with the landlord. Schwertferger said he just wants his security deposit back.

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