Woman's rebuilding after fire stalled by Sears no-show

June 13, 2011 7:59:48 PM PDT
If you know anyone who's had a house fire, you know it can turn your life upside down. For one woman, months of rebuilding ended with even more frustration. 7 On Your Side stepped in to help.

A fire was so bad the woman had to move out of her house for several months. Once she finally returned, she couldn't get a retailer to deliver the appliances she needed to get her life back to normal, even after paying cash.

Her house is back to normal, but Hester Carraway won't soon forget the night a fire broke out in the basement.

"It was scary. I was really scared because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get out of the house in time," said Carraway.

Carraway was in a wheelchair at the time, following a surgery last November. When the fire started in a water heater, it spread fast destroying her washer, dryer, refrigerator and freezer.

"Everything burned, everything burned," said Carraway.

"I was bringing her food and coming by talking to her," said Carraway's son DeLonzo.

"It was really horrible doing without a fridge and a washer and dryer," said Carraway.

So Carraway went to Sears to get all new appliances and was glad the store said it could deliver them promptly, except it didn't.

"They told me they'd bring it on the third, and then they changed it to the fourth, and then they changed it to the fifth. And so the fifth came and they never did bring it," said Carraway.

Weeks later, Sears said the appliances were out of stock. Carraway asked for her money back, but there was delay there too.

"I waited, like almost two months, and finally I went to 7 On Your Side," said Carraway.

We contacted Sears and the retailer apologized saying, "There was an issue with the products being out of stock or on back order. We regret not being able to fulfill the order."

However, after that, Sears promptly refunded Carraway's money -- $2,696 and added a $100 gift card as a bonus. Now she has all new appliances in a newly restored basement.

"It feels like a house again and a little more peaceful, so I really appreciate everything," said Carraway.

Sears says there was a communication problem between the warehouse and the sales floor, so it appeared items were in stock when they were not. However, that issue should now be resolved.

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