SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WGGB) — A Springfield family is left with only a skeleton of a home after being allegedly scammed by a bad contractor.
At first glance, you’d think Gerry Lafleur’s living room is mid-renovation, but that’s until you see his entire house looks the same.
“He didn’t care if the place burned down, he didn’t care if we all died. Just wasn’t important,” Gerry said about his alleged bad contractor Bruce Ash.
Lafleur researched Ash of Bash Construction online. Ash had licenses and references, so Lafleur signed a contract and paid Ash increments totaling $81,000.
“This is what he left us with,” Lafleur adds, pointing to exposed walls and incomplete work. “He worked for four months, completely demolished the house, took all the insulation out, all the walls were gone…left us with 2-by-4 construction. I called him, I was looking for him. He said ‘I’m done. Never saw him again.’”
Half-built walls, unfinished floors, a makeshift kitchen sink, exposed electrical outlets are just a few of the issues the Lafleur’s try to make the best of these days.
“This had no insulation. Again, I did that all myself. There was no heat in the bedroom to the right,” Gerry said about his daughter’s room.
Other contractors estimate to finish the house would take $70,000. It’s money the Lafleur’s no longer have. Gerry’s lawyer sent Ash notices, and they were returned in the mail.
“Got a settlement against him, found him two months ago in Florida in Kissimmee, he doesn’t have any assets.”
That’s partially why a clerk magistrate told Lafleur that his case wasn’t warranted for court.
Lafleur says living in the incomplete conditions for almost three years has certainly taken a toll on his family.
“I’m sure it’s been embarrassing for my daughters to have friends over or they don’t want to have anybody over,” Lafleur explains. “They don’t want to have a party, because who wants to live like this.”
We found a “Bruce Ash” from “Bash Construction” in Kissimmee, Florida, but he denied ever having worked in western Massachusetts. Lafleur says he’s willing to forgive Ash, if he could just find someone to finish the job.
“Number one, I’d like to have my house back. I’d like to have our home back…that’s the most important thing,” Lafleur notes.
In the meantime, he plans to keep up his legal fight. ABC40 will keep you posted on his progress.
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