After house fire, Franklin County family burned again by contractor

Investigators

YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Franklin County family has been burned twice recently — once by a house fire and another time by a contractor who they said failed to repair their home.

The Creager family’s Youngsville home was severely damaged by a fire on Aug. 1. The drying machine malfunctioned and caused the fire. Their insurance company said fixing it was a major repair job.

“Allstate, based on a walkthrough, without doing any sort of demolition, estimated $97,000 worth of damage,” said Katie Creager.

Creager’s 86-year-old father-in-law, Herb, owns the home.

Katie and her husband live with him to help take care of Herb because of his medical issues.

In order to get the home restored, Herb and her husband Chris signed a contract with CMC Flooring Enterprises of Durham to start doing repairs.

“We signed a contract for $96,000,” Creager said. “But, because we were working with the mortgage company, Chase, we were only allowed to get funds in increments.”

Over the next several months, she said the contractor received funds from four separate contracts for work at the home. They totalled $34,000.

But, months after receiving money under the four different contracts, repairs to the home have not been completed.

Creager said Chase did an inspection at the end of January and said the home was only 25 percent complete.

The Creagers said that after the house was inspected, the contractor never showed up again to do any more work.

The home has holes in ceilings, fire-charred rafters left in place with new rafters attached to them, a bathroom partially demolished with no toilet, and a tub filled with debris.

“They kept assuring us and assuring us the work would be completed,” Creager said.

The family said they were told to be patient because the contractor was working on another job at the same time.

“They’d been busy working on a million-dollar contract in Franklinton and they would get to us as soon as possible,” Creager said.

But, the contractor soon stopped responding to her calls and emails. Their Durham office was vacant and appeared to be vandalized. A CBS 17 crew saw a hole in one the building’s plate glass windows, as well a hole in the glass on one of the doors.  

There was also debris scattered on the floor and material that had been off the walls. It appeared the owners had left the place in haste.

In an online search, CBS 17 discovered the contractor’s license for CMC Flooring Enterprises is listed as invalid.

The executive director of the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors said the license became invalid after it wasn’t renewed on March 1.  

The contractor’s listed phone number is also no longer valid. The message said the number is no longer in service.

Between homeschooling their kids and taking care of 86-year-old Herb, the Creagers are now scrambling to do their own home repairs in order to satisfy their mortgage company.

“Chase says once we hit 50 percent, they’ll release the remainder of the money and we can hire another contract to finish the house,” Creager said.

But, it’s a tight timetable.

Their insurance funding for alternative housing runs out April 30. Although they can stay where they are currently living if they pay month to month, Creager said they can’t afford that and a mortgage payment on their still unrepaired home.

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