COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CBS4) – Ten months have passed since Brian Wynne and his wife were last at their home in Colorado Springs.
“I was taking a nap and then the alarm went off,” he said.
On January 19, a fire in his basement spread throughout the house.
“When I opened the door, all I could see was black smoke,” Wynne said.
He and his dog got out just before the firefighters arrived. Immediately his mind started racing.
“What are we going to do? What is going to happen now? He thought.
Before the firefighters finished putting out the flames, he said a representative from Statewide Restoration was by his side promising to take care of everything – assuring Wynne that they would be back home before he they don’t know.
“At the time, it looked like a blessing from heaven, but it didn’t turn out to be so,” he said.
Initially, he says the company was on top of things, cleaning up and demolishing quickly, even painting the exterior of their home. But after just a few months, the work seemed to stop.
“I would drive by, there would be no vehicles here. The house is closed, I stopped, no one, nothing. I called people and they said they were having trouble with COVID, ”he said.
CBS4 has spoken to half a dozen other state clients since November 2019, who say their projects have also been delayed and have received the same reasoning.
We spoke with a government employee who asked not to be identified. He says that is not the problem he has encountered.
“It’s about getting a check from our head office to pay for this, and just recently it’s taking months,” he said.
He says that instead of just firing the company, clients worry about money already spent and the potential repercussions of severing ties with the company that many have signed up with during a crisis.
“As you walk over to a couple where their house is still burning, sing that out and we’ll take care of it and that’s what they do,” he said.
A regional representative of Statewide, based in California, recently took over the Aurora branch.
He says the employee’s claims about the payments are completely unfounded and instead blames the delayed projects on staff running their Colorado office, many of whom have now been laid off.
He says they just weren’t applying for the necessary permits or hiring reliable contractors in a timely manner. Statewide Restoration CEO Gary Liardon also provided a statement in response:
“Our responsibility to our valued customers is our top priority and our most solemn charge. While we do everything we can to take on this responsibility without error, we are an organization of people and sometimes, even with the best of intentions, challenges will arise. It is the willingness to meet these challenges with honesty and integrity that defines our character. “
At the end of the day, it’s the owners who are caught in the middle and many are now paying for it.
“We were trying to see it like it was a vacation, but it didn’t really work out that way,” Wynne said.