GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (KOLO) January 14th, an explosion and fire rocked a unit in a Gardnerville apartment building. The man living in the unit, 22-year old Adam Fitzgerald-Wermesan, sustained third-degree burns.
None of this came as a surprise he says to the man living in the unit below.
"That day it was a pretty scary moment," said Aaron Rasavage. "I heard the explosion. I went outside and I noticed that same butane smell I'd been smelling for the past five or six months."
Rasavage, a disabled vet who has been living there for the past year with his young daughter, says he'd been complaining about those smells and what he suspected they indicated for months.
"We've gone to the manager and asked her nicely to handle this situation. She said, 'Well, you need to call the cops and we can get some reports going.' So we did that for four to six months and still nothing happens."
Douglas County authorities say, in fact, Fitzgerald-Wermesan had been cooking hash oil when the explosion happened. He's now facing charges of concentrated extraction of marijuana, a class C felony.
Rasavage is facing eviction--eviction with just days notice. A Douglas County judge acting on a complaint by management has given him just until Monday to get out.
Nevada law leaves such decisions up to local jurisdictions and offers little protection for tenants.
Crestmore Village was built under a federal tax credit program to encourage the development of affordable housing.
The state housing division tells us someone can only be evicted for cause and it appears management here has found that cause, casting him as a problem tenant, responsible for disorderly behavior.
In fact, the manager and maintenance man say they fear for their safety, and filed for and got temporary restraining orders against him.
Rasavage denies he's a danger to anyone. He says he's being punished for raising concerns. Other tenants have written letters supporting his account. As he leaves he says he's worried about them.
"I asked the owner how come you don't want to organize a community meeting. What's wrong with getting the community together and make this a safer place. His answer was that he didn't care."