Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility
Close Alert

No home for the holidays: Warwick fire victims still picking up the pieces

Fifteen months after a devastating fire, Brenda and Eric Boronski's Warwick home has yet to be rebuild. (WJAR)
Fifteen months after a devastating fire, Brenda and Eric Boronski's Warwick home has yet to be rebuild. (WJAR)
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon

Seasons change, but 15 months after a devastating fire, Brenda and Eric Boronski's Warwick home looks almost exactly the same.

"No progress has happened at the house," said Brenda.

It's incredibly frustrating for the Boronskis, especially since they, with help from their insurance company, have shelled out more than $70,000 over the last year to rebuild.

"Do you anticipate ever getting that back, even with the help of a lawyer?" asked NBC10's Emily Volz.

"Not really," replied Brenda. "Honestly, I think he's hid his money."

Brenda continued, "I think he knows what he's doing. He's been doing this multiple times, lots of times to lots of people."

Brenda is talking about Justin Perreault, the founder of the now closed outreach center Peace & Providence.

In August of 2018, the Boronskis hired Perreault to help them rebuild.

Records show, and Perreault confirmed, he was paid nearly $40,000 for various projects like fixing the chimney, sewer line, windows, driveway, and electrical work.

But looking at their burned out chimney, busted windows, unfinished driveway, and sunlight shining through the roof, the Boronskis and their friends said it doesn't look like $40,000 worth of work was done.

The Boronskis also paid a subcontractor, HBC Construction, to work on the home in May of 2019. With help from the Rhode Island Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board, HBC returned $26,500 to the Boronski family.

The family still wants Perreault to return some of the $40,000 he received, since the work he was paid for is not complete.

"My radar went up when a period of a year went by and nothing was done" said Joe Cavanaugh, a friend of the Boronskis.

Perreault, who is no longer working on the home, wouldn't talk to NBC 10 on camera.

Over the phone, he told NBC 10's Emily Volz all of the money is accounted for. He claimed some of it is with subcontractors who are just waiting to start work. But Perreault wouldn't disclose who those subcontractors are. Therefore, NBC 10 cannot verify his claims.

After NBC 10 aired the Boronski's story in August, several volunteers offered to help them rebuild.

But without the money originally paid to Perreault, they're stuck.

"The help was there," said Brenda. "But the materials and the money for the materials are not."

They're also questioning why the Boronski's mortgage company Navigant Credit Union, which approved Perrault's invoices and checks, isn't working to help the family recover the money.

"They hold the mortgage, and they released all that money based on bogus invoices, and never bothered to follow up," said Cavanaugh.

He continued, "They need to step up to the plate. They didn't do their due diligence and help these folks out."

NBC 10 reached out to Navigant, but Chief Lending Officer Brian Azar refused to discuss the Boronskis' situation, saying only that Navigant remains open to further discussions with the family.

"I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach a hundred times," said Brenda. "I feel like I've been left on the side of the road."

As the Boronskis scramble to find another rental, their charred home sits in unlivable condition, just as it has for the last 15 months.

But just this week, the Boronskis received some incredible news.

Joseph Caprio, of Sealer Pro Sealcoating, has found several local contractors to begin work on the home. They're hoping to begin construction as soon as possible.

Loading ...