Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
DENVER -- When the Carillo family put their belongings into a storage unit during a move, they never expected to find it covered in rat feces, urine, and chewed to shreds.
“The feces was everywhere, covered everywhere, inside things, outside things, on the walls,” Brandon Carillo said.
The family was moving from Wheat Ridge to Brighton, and decided to live with family in the mean time. That’s why they put most of what they owned into a storage unit at the Cube Smart on Federal and 67th.
When they came to claim their items about a year later, they found what had happened.
“All of the (dresser) drawers were full of feces,” Brandon said.
“Urine on the toy box, my daughter’s toy box,” his wife Jessica explained. “Everything was just ruined.”
The family tells Contact7 their furniture, artwork, kid’s toys, mattresses, clothing, and more were damaged. They found one dead rat inside a brand new rug, and believe there were many more.
"It was raining feces," Brandon said, describing as he shook out that rug.
The damage is “probably around $3,000,” Jessica estimated. She says the rodents also tore irreplaceable love letters to shreds, along with the couple’s marriage certificate and at least one child’s birth certificate.
“This is something that’s supposed to be environmentally controlled,” Brandon said.
The couple paid for insurance for their items, but were told that insurance didn’t cover rodent damage. They say they were given the runaround by Cube Smart, and offered $300 for their troubles. They rejected that offer.
Contact7 reached out to Cube Smart’s corporate office. A spokespesron said to call the local manager. Denver7 was then told by that manager over the phone that, “I have no idea what you’re talking about” and hung up. After calling back, the manager said it was company policy not to speak with the media so “that won’t be happening.”
The family was able to replace some of their belongings, and bought their youngest son and daughter new toys. They now want their story to be a warning to others.
“I’m looking out for fellow Coloradans I guess you could say,” Brandon said. “Check your stuff.”