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Family-of-six forced to live in caravans in Toowoomba after Foxtel installer drilled into asbestos

A family-of-six have been forced to live in caravans in their backyard for nearly three weeks after a Foxtel installer accidentally drilled a hole into their ceiling, exposing them to deadly asbestos.

Army veterans Damien and Leonie Morse and their four children, had only been in their new home in Toowoomba west of Brisbane for five weeks before they had decided to install Foxtel.

But a 2.5cm wide hole ended up being drilled into the roof and asbestos fell onto the floor, infecting the whole house.

To make matters worse the family were unaware that the white powder that fell from the ceiling was actually toxic and they remained in the house for a week.

Mr Morse said he and his family are now praying they will be compensated after losing an estimated $80,000 in contaminated furniture.

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Army veterans Damien and Leonie Morse are now asking for Foxtel to compensate their losses

Army veterans Damien and Leonie Morse are now asking for Foxtel to compensate their losses

The family-of-six were told they'd only be out of their house for three days but are now nearly up to three weeks

The family-of-six were told they’d only be out of their house for three days but are now nearly up to three weeks

‘We were told we couldn’t go back to the house so we literally only had the clothes on our back,’ Mr Morse told A Current Affair. 

‘We were essentially homeless veterans, we had nowhere to go.’ 

The couple said they had no idea they had any asbestos in their ceiling because a building report did not suggest to carry out an inspection.

Luckily for the Morse family, relatives, neighbours and an army charity chipped in to set the family up in caravans but it wasn’t easy going.

‘Everyone’s just tired and stressed,’ Mrs Morse said.

‘I vacuumed the house and also our car and in essence I’ve spread asbestos throughout the whole house.’








The Morse family have been living in caravans on their property for nearly three weeks after asbestos entered their home

The Morse family have been living in caravans on their property for nearly three weeks after asbestos entered their home

‘The fact that the kids are thinking are they going to die of asbestos poisoning now, like how do you deal with that?’ Mr Morse said.

The family have now been warned the majority of their furniture has been infected including beds, clothes and a beloved rug that had been in the family for 60 years.

‘You can’t put a price on that,’ Mr Morse said.

‘We don’t want millions of dollars we just want to be fairly compensated for our losses.’

The family say their biggest issue is sitting in limbo wondering when they will be able to go back inside their house.

‘We email them, we ring them, and nothing gets done, nothing,’ Mrs Morse said. 

The Foxtel contractor had accidentally drilled a hole into the ceiling resulting in asbestos falling down into the living room

The Foxtel contractor had accidentally drilled a hole into the ceiling resulting in asbestos falling down into the living room 

‘If you’re going to throw out all our stuff, replace it.’ 

Foxtel had contracted BSA Limited who then subcontracted a worker from Pixie Machinery to carry out the installation.

Pixie Machinery initially offered to fix the hole and cover the cost before discovering the asbestos and bringing in a licensed company to remove it. 

Foxtel said $5,000 had since been paid to the Morse family and further testing had been undertaken on Thursday.

The results are expected to be given on Monday and will determine whether the family can move back in to their home.

Foxtel said in a statement it apologises for the ‘major inconveniences’ caused to the Morse family and their contractors had carried out an $18,000 clean of the home. 

‘Two independent assessments have been made of the residual hazard. The first was made by the asbestos removalist and the second by a specialist air-quality and safety company,’ the company said.

‘These assessments have provided conflicting advice about the remaining risk at Mr Morse’s home. The most recent tests by the specialist air-quality company indicate his home is safe, and Mr Morse and his family can return.

‘Foxtel’s priority is to get Mr Morse back into his home as soon as possible. Given the conflicting safety advice, we share Mr Morse’s uncertainty about returning.’

The family’s Foxtel charges have also been put on hold.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted BSA Limited for comment. 

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