Florida Father Dies After Toxic Mold Exposure

Anthony Bolstad

Anthony Bolstad is a member of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors who covers consumer safety and education for Moldli.com.

Hurricane Ian, power outages, and a burst water pipe all caused or contributed to the growth of toxic mold in a Florida home that, within months, led to a 26-year-old father’s death in early January.

A 26-year-old father died Monday, January 3rd, after being exposed to extensive mold growth in the family’s leased Englewood home, initially caused by flooding during Hurricane Ian, 10 News Tampa Bay reports.

Christian Childers is survived by two young children, ages 4 and 9, and a grieving fiancé, Kendra Elliott, who shared with the news outlet that Childers had asthma and that mold exacerbated his existing physical conditions and caused new ones.

Hurricane Flooding Began Cascade of Deadly Events

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Fort Meyers, Florida on September 28, 2022.

The Childers’ family home, located in Englewood, Florida, was flooded like so many others.

Then, the power went out for two weeks.

Coupled with the Florida heat, mold began growing in the home shortly thereafter.

Conditions deteriorated further when a pipe burst inside the home.

Eliot described the conditions leading up to Childers death as: “He has asthma so he went into anaphylactic shock due to the poisoning of the mold which set him out into cardiac arrest, which stopped him from getting blood to the brain, so clinically he was pronounced dead,” Elliot said.

Childers’ asthma appears to be a preexisting condition, but an article in the Independent is titled: “Her healthy husband died aged 26. The silent killer was in their home.”

Mold growth can occur within 24-48 hours of a water intrusion event, and the CDC says that people with weakened immune systems can become sick due to mold after hurricanes and floods.

Deaths as a result of mold exposure are reportedly rare, but they certainly do happen.

[See also: Mold May Be Factor in 5-Month-Old’s Death, Parents Discover, and Child Died After Black Mold Exposure in Texas Apt: Lawsuit.]

A friend at whose home the surviving family is now staying has set up a fundraising effort in their support.

According to a Jan 28 update, testing found toxic mold in the family’s former home, directly contributing to Childer’s death. Specialists also “say the boys blood results are not good,” and the family and friend are working on treatment options not covered by insurance. FEMA, Unite Florida, and Representative Steube’s office aren’t returning the family’s calls or emails.

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