Local News

Still no answers for families of children who died in Fort Bragg housing

Posted October 26, 2010

— Tests performed by the Fort Bragg Directorate of Public Works found nothing to indicate that the composition of on-post housing contributed to a series of unexplained infant deaths, a spokesman said Tuesday.

"I am quite confident that the homes are safe structures," said Col. Stephen Sicinski, Fort Bragg's garrison commander.

Ten children, ages 8 months to 2 years, have died in military housing on post since 2007, including one house where two infants died within three months.

Fort Bragg infant deaths remain a mystery Fort Bragg infant deaths remain a mystery

Fort Bragg tested 10 homes connected to the deaths for carbon monoxide, mercury vapor, mold, lead, asbestos and toxins in the drywall.

All the tests were negative or were at levels well below the standard for human exposure set by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Sicinski said. Those levels, however, are based upon adults.

"I don't think the industry has a child tolerance set of standards," Sicinski said when pressed on the issue. "But we do know that all of the results that we did find, even based on the adults standards were really, really low. They barely registered on the scale."

"Our purpose for testing was to rule out the possibility that the environmental structure of the homes was the reason for the deaths," he said.

"What we set out to do, we accomplished, which was to rule out the homes as part of the problem," he said.

Fort Bragg offers update on baby deaths Web only: Homes not a factor in deaths at Fort Bragg

Sicinski said test data will be shared with all current and former residents of the homes.

He acknowledged the lack of closure for families, and he said that the investigation into the causes of the deaths remains open.

"I was hoping to provide families with some measure of reassurance that it wasn't the house, and I think it did that," he said.

MacKenzie Agee, whose son, Lockland, died two years ago, found little comfort in the announcement.

"The housing was horrible. It was disgusting. It was ... there was mold, rust, all kinds of issues," she recalled.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is conducting its own tests of the homes for Chinese drywall, which has reportedly sickened people across the nation. Those tests are not yet complete.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • cmsa80 Oct 27, 2010

    My question has always been... Were autopsies done on the children to determine cause of death? The answer to autopsies may lead to the answers to this case.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 27, 2010

    and we wonder why people don't want to join the military anymore. Stop loss redeploys, crummy housing, substandard hospitals, crazy doctors going on shooting rampages, endless deployments to wars that have nothing to do with making us safer, fighting warlords in Afganistan and propping up one of the 5 most corrupt governments in the world, suicides that are rampant, and low pay.

    Sounds like a great deal.

    I understand the risk of being put in harms way for battle and respect the need for that. None of the above problems however, fits into that category.

  • BigUNCFan Oct 27, 2010

    If you believe this analysis, I have some swampland in Florida you may be interested in buying.

  • southrnarchitect Oct 27, 2010

    We all talk about housing conditions and the state of affairs in this country with the military, the civilian population, homeless, children without food, etc. If all of you would get together and write your representatives in Congress and our President and tell them to stop giving away BILLIONS of dollars to foreign counties in aid, to stop sending jobs to Mexico (example cars, etc), China (example Gypsum board production, etc) and other countries so that people in this country could have jobs and earn money our way of living could get better. These are just a few things that can help our contry get better, plus the American people have to be willing to work, I do not care if it is a job at McDonald-at least it is money. I have worked at McDonalds just to have a job and earn my own money to many of our people want things handed to them on a silver platter. We in general look to blame everyone else for everything even if it is our fault.

  • southrnarchitect Oct 27, 2010

    Redfox the older neighborhoods on Ft Bragg have been around for over 50 years, are they going to look bad yes - because Congress up until recently did not fund Maintenance and Repairs of facilities on military installations the way the should and even today they are still not giving the bases enough money to do the jobs correctly. Also if you work on Ft. Bragg you should know that the base houseing is scheduled to be replaced but this takes time. Also I grew up in these houses and I would much rather live here than in some of the other civilian housing areas in NC and other parts of this country. Moldy barracks - those troops were not scheduled to come back when they did or they would have come back to new barracks - also again some of these barracks are 50+ yeqars old again with no maintenance - this creates problems. Also have you seen the way those barracks are treated no wonder they are in bad shape same for the housing units. Individuals living in thes units need to take of them.

  • Nunya123 Oct 27, 2010

    So, like usual, the people who live in these homes have absolutely no responsibility to keep them up. Being in the Army and Air Force for the last 28 years, I drive by housing units that have garbage strewn around the yards, curtains falling off the rods, windows so dirty you can't see through them. I can only imagine what the insides look like. But it's the military's fault for not taking care of them. Apparently when you join the military you are entitled to a maid. Must have missed that line item on my initial issue form.

  • RedFox Oct 27, 2010

    I drive right by the Ardennes neighborhood when I leave Ft Bragg every week. The Section 8 housing in downtown Raleigh looks 10 times better than that dump of a neighborhood. I'm so thankful my son who was in the Army didn't not have a family while he was active. I would not want my grandchildren to end up in a horrible neighborhood such as that. The truth will come out. Hey the truth came out about the moldy barracks. Now? There are new barracks going up all over Bragg replacing the old moldy ones.

  • gbrincku Oct 27, 2010

    My whole story didn't post. Please go to Youtube videos -search "Brincku House" & "A Cry for Help". American drywall is having problems llike the Chinese drywall. Please watch our videos.

  • gbrincku Oct 27, 2010

    American drywall is also having problems too. We have American tainted drywall. Here is our story:

    On December 20, 2008 we read an article in the paper pertaining to Chinese Drywall, described all of the issues we were experiencing. We began our own investigation of our drywall and after reviewing pictures taken of the upstairs drywall before the installment, we determined at least in the upstairs we had no Chinese drywall. All of the pictures indicate the only drywall used upstairs was from National Gypsum Goldbond (Gridmarx). Additionally, our subcontractor insisted he used only American drywall in our home. At that point we were confused since we did not find any Chinese drywall in our home.

    We began searching the internet for answers. We contacted Thomas Eagar, Sc.D., P.E. of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We explained our situation and our health concerns regarding our 8 year old son, Harrison. He agreed to help us by testing samples of our drywall and other c

  • Desiderata Oct 27, 2010

    Again , the few armchair warriers trying to make something of their lives by commenting and putting blame on something../someone...Come on,,,go get a life/hobby and leave the investigation to the experts,,,Not everything about living and dying can be explained!