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Oldsmar families still can’t salvage irreplaceable mementos nearly 4 months after apartment fire

Better Call Behnken

OLDSMAR, Fla. (WFLA) – LaSondra White is tired of getting the runaround and feels she’s running out of time to retrieve what may be left after a fire destroyed her apartment in September.

White lived in the unit that caught fire at Aventine at Forest Lakes in Oldsmar. She wasn’t home at the time of the fire and said she was never able to go back inside because the building was deemed unsafe.

“It’s emotional,” she said. “I just want someone to do the right thing.”

Both families had renters insurance and say the basics are covered but they want to check on irreplaceable items and family mementos.

The problem is that the complex is supposed to shore up the floors so that White and one other family can get belongings but the process has been painfully slow. She says the complex owners blame the city for not issuing the permit, and the city blames the apartment complex.

Fed up after waiting since Sept. 17, she turned to Better Call Behnken for help.

Investigator Shannon Behnken called the city of Oldsmar and was told there first issues with the contractor the complex chose. He didn’t have the correct local contracting license to do the work.

That was fixed and now the permit was issued Dec. 2. The city said the ball is the court of the complex.

A spokeswoman for Pacifica S.D. Management, which owns the complex, said the complex wants to let residents in but had to wait on the permit.

Here’s the good news: she says a contractor could be there as early as Tuesday to frame the floor so both residents can get in to see what they have left.

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