This week's record rainfall caused roofs to leak all across the Valley.

But for a Chandler woman, a leaky roof revealed an even bigger problem, one she said put her family's health in danger.

"I woke up in the morning and my ceiling was gaping open," Jessica Ford said.

She said water began gushing into her apartment during Monday's storm.

Ford immediately called the management office at Laguna Village, near Arizona Avenue and Elliott Road and maintenance crews brought over an industrial fan to dry things out.

"They plugged it into this outlet while my wall was still damp," Ford said about the counterproductive measure, since her ceiling was still leaking.

There was obvious water damage to her daughter's room, with water pockets bulging from the ceiling.

Ford said a maintenance worker cut the ceiling open on Wednesday and what she saw shocked her.

"Mold, tons of black mold," she said.

Again, Ford called management to report the problem and got a voicemail Thursday addressing the issue.

"That drywall has a colored backing on the back of it and that is what the discolored spots are," said a woman who identified herself as Andrea and said she works with Laguna Village's corporate office. "It's actually not mold and there's no mold that's been seen."

Not convinced, Ford took a sample of the sheet rock and gave it to a friend who is a biology professor.

He looked at it under a microscope and said he found very high concentrations of Stachybotrys Chartarum.

It's a black mold known to cause respiratory problems, especially in people who have asthma, like Ford's 6-year-old daughter.

"I let them (management) know me and my daughter were feeling sick and that she was saying her lungs were hurting - that she was dizzy," Ford said. "Nothing they could do. They wouldn't do anything."

CBS 5 News confronted a manager named Kelly at Laguna Village and asked her what was being done to protect her tenants since Ford's unit possibly had mold growing in the ceiling and walls.

The manager told CBS 5 News to call their attorney, which we did, along with placing a call to the corporate office.

On Friday, the corporate office, P.B. Bell Companies, sent the following statement on the Laguna Village apartments:"P.B. Bell Companies is committed to the health and safety of our residents. We care about our communities and the families that we serve. "Laguna Village was acquired by P.B. Bell just over 4 weeks ago and we have $4Million of renovations and upgrades planned at the community, of which, $600,000 in roof replacements are currently under construction. "Due to the recent epic rain, we committed to expediting the drywall repairs to the home of Ms. Ford and our contractor specialists have been in the home with her consent over the past week. "We appreciate the feedback of the resident in bringing this issue to our attention. At each P.B. Bell community we strive to encourage resident participation and feedback to ensure a friendly and safe environment, and an enjoyable experience for all residents and families. "We are currently investigating the issue ourselves."

Meantime, Ford said her ceiling has been patched up without the replacement of insulation, treatment of wood beams or testing for mold.

"I know the mold isn't just from Monday," Ford said. "So, obviously, we've been breathing in the spores for now, I don't even know how long. But, it's terrifying."

Ford and her daughter are now staying with a friend because she's worried about the air quality in her apartment.

CBS 5 News has sent sheet rock samples from the apartment's ceiling to a laboratory certified in indoor air quality analysis and expect results by Monday.

Stay with and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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