MENTOR, Ohio - A couple from Mentor is now trying to figure out how they'll restock their backyard pond, after all of their fish suddenly died.
Donna and Dan Fiore found all 17 of their Koi fish floating at the top of their Mentor pond, less than 24 hours after they had their lawn fertilized.
"Wow, my kids were here, the fish are floating in the water, and they're all in shock," said Dan Fiore. "They were really healthy fish, everything was going fine with them, but then I remembered we had an application that day."
The Fiores reported a crew from TruGreen was at their home to put down fertilizer just a day before the fish were found dead.
The couple said TruGreen customer service was extremely receptive when they initially reported the incident on May 23, but said weeks later their claim was denied by a branch manager. They said the branch manager blamed the fish kill on warm weather and pond bacteria.
"I was pretty upset, because I had developed a rapport with the customer service manager, he was very apologetic," said Fiore. "But then the general manager of this branch, was just stonewalling me."
NewsChannel5 contacted TruGreen corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, in the search for some answers.
TruGreen's corporate communications office responded immediately, and pledged a $1,000 settlement with Dan and Donna Fiore.
Tru Green issued the following statement:
"TruGreen has been working with the Fiore and Barberio families for a number of weeks regarding the issue related to their Koi pond," said Susanna Weston, TruGreen Director for Communications.
"Since there was no turf alongside the pond itself and TruGreen respects a three-foot buffer zone around all bodies of water, our experts concluded that TruGreen was not at fault."
"However, TruGreen values our customers and it’s important to us to continue to work with the families to resolve the matter to everyone’s satisfaction."
Meanwhile the Fiores said they couldn't remember if high winds were an issue on the day fertilizer was applied to their lawn. The couple has already paid a contractor to clean the pond water, after they said they found an oily film floating at the top, following the fertilizer application.
More information on lawn chemicals and fish safety can be found on this website.
"The boys just want their fish back," said Donna Fiore. "I just kind of want the company to say we made a wrong, and correct it."
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