LAKELAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - Demolition is set to begin Monday on an apartment building partially destroyed in a fire, but one family is begging the landlord to hold off because they say many of their undamaged family mementos are still inside.
Jamie Jesmain and her family said they plan to sue if the building owners refuse to work with them to retrieve some of their undamaged belongings. Expensive electronics, clothes and irreplaceable family items are all set to be disposed of starting Monday.
Jesmain and her family have been living out of their camper. It's been home for the last two months ever since their apartment building caught fire, but they said the blaze was put out before reaching their unit. Despite that, they were still forced to move out, leaving behind all of their belongings which they say were never damaged.
They've made attempts to retrieve them, but their landlord won't allow it.
"Everything we worked for, all of our memories are going in the garbage and they don't care," Jesmain said.
Their building is set to be demolished Monday according to the family, who spoke with demolition crews and current residents who they say received a notice of the demolition via email.
A small box of photos are among the few items they were able to retrieve the night of the fire, but they say there are still dozens of personal items inside, including priceless family mementos and irreplaceable letters from relatives who've passed away.
"We should be able to get that stuff back. I think they should try everything in their power to get people's personal belongings including ours," Ashley Jesmain said.
"Our team has determined that the structural integrity has been compromised," Arbor Glen Apartment said in a letter sent to the family. "It is not and will not be safe for you to enter your unit to retrieve your belongings at any time."
"I at least want to be there and be able to watch I feel like it will help me to just see it go and know that it's over," Jesmain said.
We've made attempts to reach out to Arbor Glen Apartments for comment, but have not heard back.