LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - It's been more than a month since the Arbor Glen Apartments went up in flames, but now a family desperately wants to get back in to get some of their belongings. Their landlord isn't allowing it.
“It’s been a nightmare," Jamie Jesmaine said.
It's a nightmare Jesmaine says has only gotten worse ever since it began back on March 11 when their apartment complex caught fire.
“I just don’t understand how you can look at a family and tell me, ‘Your stuff is going in the dumpster. I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do,'” Jesmaine said.
Jesmaine and her daughter Ashley simply want to get some of their belongings from inside their unit.
“There’s pictures and videos. All my home videos are in plastic totes," Jesmaine said. "They might be OK.”
“I had American Girl dolls from my uncle who passed away who I wanted to pass on to my kids,” Ashley Jesmaine said.
Their landlord said in a letter sent to the family: "Our team has determined that the structural integrity of your unit has been compromised... It is not and will not be safe for you to enter the unit to retrieve your belongings at any time."
Jesmaine’s attorney, Charles Gallagher, also thinks it might be because of a contract the landlord had Jesmaine sign the night of the fire. She says she didn’t fully understand what it meant at the time.
“Those agreements actually have them waiving a number of rights during this whole term of chaos and time so it’s concerning,” Gallagher said.
The agreement waived the tenants' rights to their personal property and essentially gives the landlord the right to dispose of their belongings.
Jesmaine simply wants her belongings back.
“I have to fight for my stuff for my kids," Jesmaine said. "I mean, he can’t give her something else to hold on to. He’s not here.”
FOX 13 News reached out to Arbor Glen Apartments for comment, but have not heard back.