SPOKANE — Raymond VanderLouw, owner of EnviroPRO, Spokane, Wash., helped a family whose donated furniture was infested with bed bugs. The North Spokane, Wash., family had accepted the donated items after it lost nearly everything to an apartment fire in June.
According to KREM.com, the June 2011 fire at the Autumn Ridge Apartments destroyed 90% of everything that Mick Chapman, his fiancé and their three children owned.
Chapman accepted donations of furniture and clothing, and moved into a new place. Not long after, they realized their apartment was infested with bed bugs from the donated items. Chapman called VanderLouw, who estimated it would cost more than $2,000 to get rid of the bugs. When VanderLouw learned what had happened to the family, he offered to do the 14-hour job for free.
VanderLouw told PCT he performed a full structural heat treatment using Temp Air equipment. "It was a very typical service for me. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the remarkable circumstances surrounding the bed bug infestation. The service took 14 hours to complete."
VanderLouw said he has followed up with the family by phone and, "They haven't seen any bed bugs or gotten any bites since the service was perfomed. Through this event, I have become close with the family, they are very humble and caring people."
VanderLouw added that the donation was simply the right thing to do. "I feel that if you have been blessed with good fortune in your life, you have a duty to give back. It's putting my faith into action. If you have the knowledge, skills and resources to help someone in need, then there is nobody better qualified to help than you are. I also feel it is important to lead by example. My industry peers, family, friends, customers, suppliers, employees and public should know what we're about as a business, not just words, but deeds."