NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A fatal fire in July at the CubeSmart storage facility in West Nashville is still causing frustrations for unit renters unable to collect their belongings from the building.
Nashville Fire officials told News 2 the fire was caused after a meth lab exploded in one of the units. The fire caused extensive damage to around 37 units.
One of those units at the Robertson Avenue facility belongs to Malcolm Evans and his wife. The couple was moving this summer and rented three storage units to house their furniture and various belongings.
“We were getting all the stuff moved out of the house because we were selling the house,” Evans said.
Evans said he hasn’t been able to collect his furniture from the unit nearby the fire since, leaving he and his wife to sleep on an air mattress.
The couple stored their bedroom furniture, dining room set, jukebox and antique clocks within that particular unit.
“Obviously my bedding and the couches and stuff is not going to be reusable. We’re just hoping we’ll at least be able to use some bedroom furniture and dining room sets,” Evans said.
Last week, CubeSmart Management sent Evans an email stating that porous items will likely be destroyed because of hazardous chemicals in the air after the explosion.
Nashville Fire had deemed the building dangerous in July, but within days were able to turn the facility back over to CubeSmart owners.
Management said in the email that it is encouraged people leave their possessions behind.
“CubeSmart places the health and safety of our customers above anything else, and therefore is recommending a complete abandonment of your items.”
And if renters wish to collect their belongings, they must make an appointment by October 2 and purchase their own hazmat equipment in order to reenter.
“You will be required to wear personal protective equipment at all times while at the property. CubeSmart will not provide any personal protective equipment, the customer must arrive with the following: half face respirator; disposable coveralls; gloves; and boot/shoe covers.”
“I don’t think it should be our responsibility to buy that stuff. They said there’s a hundred and some units here? Then they should be supplying those. It’s their negligence that cause this, not ours,” Evans said.
Evans has reached out for an appointment and to express his concerns about buying his own equipment to management. News 2 also reached out to CubeSmart directly and did not hear back for a comment.
Evans added that his insurance on the unit did supply him with the maximum coverage, which allowed him to purchase temporary furniture until he can see what can be saved from the unit.