Jesse Jones

Local families left with few options after fire restoration company suddenly goes out of business

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Families across the Puget Sound have been left with their homes unfinished by a restoration company that suddenly went out of business, potentially leaving them without a place to live if the work to their homes isn’t completed soon.

Since Statewide Restoration, a fire damage restoration company, suddenly went out of business last week, Walter and Denise Griffen have been in a race to get their Lynnwood home finished before the rain starts and their housing funds end.

“We received a text message ... from the project manager from Statewide who was upset and told us we should ... go to the media,” said Darnell Griffen, Walter and Denise’s son. “These guys are going out of business. They won’t be finishing it.”

The couple was displaced from their home after an early morning kitchen fire in January.

Darnell says Statewide showed up to the couple’s home after they reportedly heard about the fire on a scanner.

“We would say, ‘How’d you know about this?’” Darnell recalled.

“Oh, we heard it on the scanner,” Statewide responded.

“Then they started offering help and promised that they could get it done in about six months,” Darnell said.

Zeke Nistrian, an electrical contractor who says Statewide owes him more than $50,000, called the company “fire chasers.”

“As soon as they hear of a fire, they’re kind of coming to your house, and they try to convince you in a time of despair to send their contract,” said Nistrian.

He says he now worries about homeowners like the Griffens.

“Out of the blue, you just don’t know where to go,” said Nistrian. “You have no more money to build your house back because it took all their money. What are you going to do?”

The Griffens say work on their home started in February. It’s now the end of September, and the house is still down to studs.

Darnell says Statewide has received more than $50,000 from the family, and Denise and Walter say they’re now receiving notices that liens from subcontractors may be on the way.

“They just been taking advantage of us taking this long to do this job,” said Walter. “This is what we got left from dealing with these people.”

We called the local number for the company, but it was disconnected. Its website is down, and the private equity business backing Statewide Restoration also has not returned our calls.

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