RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 1,000 soldiers are being moved to new housing at Fort Bragg, after the Smoke Bomb Hill barracks were inspected earlier this month and found to have substandard conditions.
CBS 17 spoke with one solider who lives there, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. That tenant said there was mold in the building and that no matter how much they cleaned their own space, it never got better.
“There’s stuff growing on the faucets and stuff, and inside of the actual bathroom itself is like this, like tar almost, all over it,” the soldier said.
Pictures shared with CBS 17 show what the inside of the 50-year-old building looks like.
“As far as like, cleanliness, it doesn’t matter how many times you clean it, there’s always a smell to them, and just mold, there’s tons of mold,” that soldier said.
Fort Bragg officials say they’re relocating those soldiers into other buildings and they’re taking the concerns seriously.
“We’re paying attention to every solider, every room,” one official said on a call on Friday.
But one advocate we spoke with says those other buildings are also not in great shape, and soldiers are suffering the consequences.
“These servicemembers are suffering from chronic lung infections, rashes, nose bleeds, sinus infections, ear infections,” Melissa Godoy, a military spouse and advocate, said.
While the tenants are being moved out of the building, activists say it needs to happen faster.
“Our servicemembers at Fort Bragg are still living in condemned buildings, keep that in mind, these buildings have been condemned,” Godoy said.
In a call on Friday, Fort Bragg officials said so far, just 120 of the 1,100+ soldiers have been moved. They say they hope to have everyone moved out of the impacted barracks by the end of September, but said they are strategically moving them. We’re told officials plan to demolish 12 buildings and renovate five.