Woman Finds Mushrooms Growing In Upper Darby Apartment

UPPER DARBY, PA  - A local woman finds she has mushrooms growing in her apartment, but she sure didn't plant them there. Now she wants all her money back, and the building managers are pledging to overhaul the place.

Living room, tiny kitchen bedroom and bath, all for$ 600 a month, perfect for Rhonda Douglas.

"...I said, ok I can do something like this. I don't need a whole lot," Douglas told FOX 29'S Jeff Cole.

The single, health care worker, who commutes to Conshohocken, moved into this first floor apartment in The Gardens in Upper Darby in late September. She was only several weeks in when she noticed trouble.

"Problems started in November. I saw mold growing on the wall behind you. Mold, green stuff looked like grass or whatever--little spots on the walls," she said.

Rhonda took pictures with her cell phone forwarded them to management and repairs were made including a new rug placed in the main room, but then she awoke on the day for lovers February 14.

"...When I looked closely it was like mushrooms--like oooh," Rhonda said. That's right mushrooms were growing out from under the tiles on her kitchen floor.

Last week, when she asked us to take a look, they were still growing.

"Yea that grosses me out. Who has stuff growing under your kitchen--it's not like I planted it there," Rhonda said.

She says she's not been able to force herself to sleep in the place since. She claims she called Upper Darby's inspection unit, but never heard back so she contacted us.

We shot pictures of the surprising fungus, thriving in her apartment, and alerted the township's leading health official.

Upper Darby's Public Health Director says an inspector was sent here on February 20th, but he couldn't get in because no one was in the unit. He says building management has told him as soon as the apartment is vacant; they plan to overhaul the entire unit.

Public Health Director James Maloney says his agency's history with the complex centers on aging pipes funneling steam heat to the 240 units here bursting. He says mold has not been an on-going issue, as for mushrooms. Well, this is a first...

We tried to ask management what's up with the fungus.

"I don't want to be on camera. We are going to take care of it--she's moving out tomorrow," said Property Manager Lauren Peterson. "We have no idea (how it got there), we have to inspect it. Please, I don't want to be on camera."

Off camera, Peterson said they'd release Douglas from her lease and return her 600 dollar security deposit. Douglas says she wants two months' rent back as well.

She's moving out never to forget her brush with indoor gardening.

"It's disgusting--it really is. You can really get sick from something like that. I can't have my grandchildren over here to visit me," Rhonda said.

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