Disabled Monroe County woman can't use new mini-barn due to stee

Disabled Monroe County woman can't use new mini-barn due to steep ramp

Posted:
A woman in Monroe County who paid thousands of dollars for her shed can't get into it. A woman in Monroe County who paid thousands of dollars for her shed can't get into it.
The angle of the ramp leading to the door of her shed is very steep. The angle of the ramp leading to the door of her shed is very steep.
"I've had this here delivered over two weeks ago and it is of no use to me. No use," said Carolyn Hagemeyer, who is disabled. "I've had this here delivered over two weeks ago and it is of no use to me. No use," said Carolyn Hagemeyer, who is disabled.
This isn't the only problem with the big barn. Supports holding it up could topple if the ground under it gets soggy. This isn't the only problem with the big barn. Supports holding it up could topple if the ground under it gets soggy.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - Backyard barns, or sheds, are big business in East Tennessee.You see them everywhere. A woman in Monroe County who paid thousands of dollars for her shed can't get into it.

The ramp is too difficult for her to walk up. As a result of the angle, the shed is useless to its new owner who is disabled.

Each step is painful for Carolyn Hagemeyer as she tries to get around her place in Madisonville.  The 75-year-old widow has trouble walking and can't get into the new mini-barn she recently bought.

"It doesn't have the proper platform, neither does it have the proper ramp so that I can get into it," she said.

The angle of the ramp leading to the door of her shed is very steep.

"Zoning and codes have been out here. I've been told this is the most dangerous thing they have every seen," said Hagemeyer.

The ramp is so steep, it's kind of like the banking at Bristol Motor Speedway.  

"I've had this here delivered over two weeks ago and it is of no use to me. No use."

She is really upset and likely you would be too. She purchased the shed from Community Mini-barns in Delano, Tenn., near Cleveland. The company's owner has no phone.

The 32 feet long shed cost $5,200. A smaller one next to it cost $2,200. She paid cash for both.

Hagemeyer described her disability to us.

"My ankles are terribly swollen, that means swollen feet, toes, ankles, legs," she said, adding this means there's no way for her to get up the ramp.

She says the people at Community Mini-barns were aware of her condition.

"He knew. He had seen my legs several times. I couldn't get into the barns down there. So he knew he had to build a proper thing," she said.

This isn't the only problem with the big barn. Supports holding it up could topple if the ground under it gets soggy.

"[The supports] are not put in right," said Madisonville carpenter Dwight Timma. "That should have a square pad, one of them cement slabs about that big square. Under there. You can see the way that is tilting already. What happens when it rains and freezes? That corner is going to go down."

Hagemeyer paid extra to have the barns delivered and set up.

We called Homer Jennings, the man who did the set up. His comments were terse. All he said was: "I done my job, talk to someone else." 

We did. We talked to the Disability Resource Center in Knoxville.  Executive director Lillian Burch examined our pictures of the ramp.

"Oh, my goodness that is terrible," she said. "That is very, very bad. No, I wouldn't want my mother walking on that."

One of the DRC's missions is coordinating the construction of ramps to assist people with disabilities. It's possible part of Hagemeyer's existing ramp could be used as a starting point for a larger one.

"They could put a little porch at the top, at the door entry and have a ramp come down off of there. We'll also look at the possibility of getting some volunteers to help down there," said Burch.

Hagemeyer has given up on the installer and says she'll be grateful for whatever help the Disability Resource Center or anyone can offer so she can get into the mini-barn.  
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