ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Storage pods hold what's left of an elderly Orange County couple’s home after a fire burned 30 years of memories.
Now they could be forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines because officials say they don’t have a permit for the pod.
The Catlins have been trying fix that home since it nearly burned down in an electrical fire in April in their Doctor Phillips neighborhood.
“This is my sewing room and this is the room that inside that got the worst,” said Carol Catlin. “There was nothing left.”
It was where Carol Catlin made
quilts for babies in the hospital. The kitchen, bedrooms and living room also were destroyed.
But as the rebuilding began, there was suddenly another blow
, t his time from code enforcement, who sent them a letter threatening up to a $1,000-a-day fine if the couple didn't get a zoning permit for the pod.
“It's the worst thing that's ever happened to me in my entire life — and I’m 73 years old,” Catlin said.
The company hired to clean up their home put the few things they were able to save into pods, one of them in their front yard.
Another code enforcement came by and said it would take months to get a zoning and building permit, Catlin said.
Code enforcement told Channel 9’s Kenneth Craig that's not the case and pointed out that the
Catlins have been cited before.
The couple said they understand rules are rules, but are hoping leaders can make an exception for a few more weeks as they try to put their life back together.
“It just seemed like, let's have a little bit of grace and mercy on people who are already down,” Catlin said.
A code enforcement board meeting has been set for next month and the couple said they have no choice but to go there and fight this.