40-year-old Sammie Bowie said that she had to put all of her furniture, white goods and precious memories into storage while she waited for her new property to become available.
However, the mum-of-three was left absolutely devastated to find that not only had the majority of her furniture been ruined by water at the Big Padlock Storage park in the Wirral, Merseyside, but also irreplaceable items from when her children were born.
Liverpool Echo reports that Sammie said: “The removal men had gone to collect the furniture and came and told me about the terrible smell coming from the storage unit.
“I went to take a look myself and found there was a leak in the roof and water had destroyed most of my belongings – there was white and green mould everywhere.
“I was so upset, there were so many sentimental items from when the children were little that I have had to throw away – photos, memories.
“I managed to save a little blanket from when my daughter was born and some of my son’s first shoes from when he was a baby.”
Sammie, mum to Rebecca, 21, Abby 18 and William 12, said the water smelled as it had soaked through the cardboard boxes and ruined their bed mattresses making them unusable.
Sammie, who is currently awaiting brain surgery following an ongoing medical issue with her spine, is being forced to sleep on a sofa while she awaits the outcome of her insurance claim.
She said: “I have made a claim on August 19 and I was told I would hear back within two weeks – I am still waiting.
“I really should not be sleeping on a sofa as my back is so sore, but there is nothing I can do until I have the money. I am so tired, I just want a good night’s sleep.”
Sammie puts the monetary cost of all the items damaged, including her washing machine and brand new dining table, at around £10,000, but it is her keepsakes that she hurt over most as they can never be replaced.
She said: “When I told the staff at the unit, it was like they didn’t care, they didn’t apologise and didn’t offer an explanation about the leak – my worry is that it will happen to someone else.”
Sammie said the manager of the Wirral branch did call her and offered to help her after she posted about the incident on Facebook.
Jayne Francis, operations manager at Big Padlock Storage said they have investigated the leak and have been assisting the insurance company to ensure Sammie can get a settlement as soon as possible.
She said: “It must be devastating for Samantha, I really do feel for her.
“We have done everything we could since she brought this to our attention, the staff at the Wirral facility contacted me directly to tell me so I am very concerned to hear Samantha thought they were ‘uncaring’.
“We have never had a leak at Big Padlock before and after we hired a specialist to investigate we found that leak had come up from the ground and not the roof.
“The water was from the storms we had over summer with the unprecedented amount of rain the drains, which are not under our control and not on our site, could not cope with that volume of water.
“This was freak weather and affected many others in Merseyside.
“I have spoken with the insurers and they have said we are not alone although no other units in Big Padlock storage in Wirral were affected.
“They will process the claim as quickly as they can.”
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