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Storage renter finds belongings destroyed by mold, insects

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BATON ROUGE - A woman went to collect her furniture and other belongings from a storage shed only to find all its contents were destroyed.

Donnis White says she went to her Life Storage locker on Florida Boulevard Monday but says all her items had been damaged by water, roaches, rats, termites and mold. She's had to toss her living room set, bedroom set and clothing. What's left is in pieces on the floor.

"I have lost everything I own," she said.

Following a year of construction, White is finally ready to move into her remodeled home. In March 2016, she began renting a Life Storage unit for $230 a month. In November, White says she opened the locker to find her mattress and bed frame soaked in water. After filing a claim with Bader Company insurance, White says she was reimbursed for the bedroom set and Life Storage fixed the leak.

"I asked her to move to another unit, I would have paid for that," she said.

But she didn't move. White says she was told she didn't have to and was never offered the opportunity.

"I said, 'Well how do we know what else is damaged,' she said, 'When you move out whatever else is damaged you still have insurance, file a claim,'" said White.

There are some sentimental items White says money can't fix, including photos and her son's United States Army memorabilia.

Life Storage tells 2 On Your Side White declined to move spaces but could not provide documentation that this conversation happened.

White's items remained in the unit for five more months until she went to the storage unit Monday.

Life Storage says it's not sure where the rodents came from, but it is not responsible for damage. A company spokesperson says the storage unit is comparable to renting an apartment and the landlord is not responsible for contents.

While touring the storage unit Thursday, White pointed to an area near the rear of the ceiling where outside light can be seen shining through. An image was sent to Life Storage and the company admits it missed this during its investigation.

While White has paid $230 per month to rent her space for a year, she wants her money back and believes Life Storage is responsible.

The tenant filed another claim with Bader Company insurance Tuesday. The company is currently investigating.

As of Thursday evening, 2 On Your Side did not hear back from Bader Company.

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