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Just days after purchase, family moves out of meth-contaminated home

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. (KIRO/CNN) - Just 10 days after a young family moved into their dream home, they were forced out because meth had contaminated the structure.

"We feel like we completely lucked out buying this house because it's hard to buy houses nowadays," said mom and wife Amanda Gates.

They packed up the boxes -- and couldn't be out of the Washington State home fast enough.

"Your house isn't safe. You need to evacuate. You need to leave," dad Jason Gates said he was told.

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Traces of meth were so high it was dangerous for the couple and their three young kids to breathe the air inside.

 "We were like horrified! I can't believe this is such a serious issue and it's not covered in the home inspection," Amanda Gates said.

The couple had no idea there was a history of drug use in the home.

So they never thought to get the home independently tested for meth.

"It's a real issue. And it's not something that your normal, average, everyday buyer would ever think about," Jason Gates said.

But state officials say they're hearing about more contaminated homes - especially with rental or foreclosed properties like the one the gates family bought.

Yet quantifying how many is tough because there's no required testing to move in.

 "They were saying it's becoming an epidemic. It's a real problem especially in this area," Jason Gates said.

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