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Denver mom retrieves Christmas decorations from rented storage locker, finds them covered in mold

Customer questions if sprinkler system is at fault
Posted at 11:54 PM, Dec 15, 2018

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DENVER -- Christal McLeod said she got the surprise of her life when she went to Public Storage on Tuesday to retrieve her Christmas ornaments and decorations. She found the decorations covered with mold and mildew.

“There was standing water in the bottom of the container,” she said. “I cried, because it was too late to call (the front desk) because it was six o’clock.”

McLeod said she went back to the facility at 21st and Blake on Wednesday and asked the company representative if there had been a flood.

“The only thing I got was, ‘we never had a flood. We don’t know what you’re talking about,’” she said.

The frustrated customer said the rep wouldn’t go up to her locker on the fourth floor.

“I brought my bin downstairs and showed him the water and he said, ‘Oh,’ and that was it,” she said.


McLeod said the company rep added that they “couldn’t do anything because I didn’t have insurance.”

She said that surprised her because when she signed a rental agreement, she was told she couldn’t rent without insurance.

“I asked them, ‘when did you drop my insurance? What happened? Why wasn’t I notified?’ That’s when everything went crazy,” she said.

It turns out that McLeod’s insurance was terminated in 2016 because she was late paying rent on her locker.

She said no one notified her that her insurance had been terminated.

So she said called back to ask to speak to a supervisor. The woman answering the phone hung up on her.

Contact7 reached out to Public Storage. A company rep working at the front desk Saturday evening said she couldn’t talk to the news media. But she did tell McLeod that a certified letter notifying her of the insurance termination was mailed to her, but apparently came back stamped “undeliverable.”

Evidence of water damage

McLeod showed Contact7 the inside of her locker on Saturday.

After unlocking the door, she stepped inside, moved some bags and small appliances outside, then pulled out a box containing dozens of music albums.

“Look: molded, wet,” she said, while pulling out warped album jackets. “Look at that.”

A friend tried to open a double jacket but it was fused shut.

“This album will not even open because of the water (damage),” he said.

McLeod said many other items are damaged, including clothing, artwork made by her children in school and other family mementos.

She said she can’t help but wonder if the fire sprinkler system malfunctioned or was triggered by some event.

Contact7 tried to contact District Manager Jacob Woodford via email and phone to ask about the sprinkler system and McLeod’s claim that she wasn’t notified about the insurance cancellation.

We have yet to hear back.

McLeod said she threw out the moldy Christmas decorations, including handmade stockings because she didn’t want her kids to get sick from mold exposure.

Still, she wants her kids to be able to enjoy Christmas, especially her developmentally disabled son.

“He is getting ready to have surgery on his leg,” she said. “All he can do is sit and look at the lights. He finds enjoyment in that.”

Now, all McCleod has are pictures of what Christmas looked like last year.

She said she wants others to know about her experience.