LINDENHURST - A Lindenhurst homeowner who nearly lost everything to Superstorm Sandy is dealing with new troubles on his block: the foreclosed, mold-ridden home next door.
Dennis Lesser's own home is still under construction, 22 months after Sandy. Earlier this month, his basement suffered flooding due to a rainstorm. But the one problem that he can't fix on his own is the vacant property next door.
Lesser says the property is owned by Wells Fargo, and it has been empty since shortly after Superstorm Sandy. Recently, he says an inspector from the bank allowed him inside to take a look. He says he was stunned by the mold growth he saw inside.
"At one point, we were amazed," he says. "We saw in the one corner on the ceiling a mold spore I've never seen that big. It was probably the size of a basketball."
In addition to the mold, there's a wasp's nest on the property, and other neighbors add that cats and even people have apparently spent time at the home recently. But neighbor Keith Daniels says it's the mold that concerns him the most. "All of a sudden I've had a cough for a month, and I think it’s coming from here," he says.
At the home today, there was a notice stuck to the front window indicating the property passed its last inspection on July 18. The notice said the home had been temporarily secured and maintained.
But Lesser says that until the bank does something to address the issues, his options are limited. "It would be nice to sit in my backyard and barbecue, but I have to see which way the wind is blowing first," he says.
News 12 contacted Wells Fargo for a statement. A spokesperson said, in part, "We are looking into the specifics of this situation but are unable to provide further details on such short notice."
A Babylon town spokesperson says that while the town cannot enter a home without a warrant, it will contact the bank on Monday, and if necessary, will send an inspector of its own to examine the situation.