Couple says Airbnb host tossed their belongings during Woolsey Fire evacuation

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LOS ANGELES -- A newlywed couple said their belongings were tossed out by their Airbnb host after they evacuated during the Woolsey Fire.

The couple, Benjamin and Jessica Wells, moved into the Airbnb in July and booked their long-term stay through April of next year. On November 9, they received evacuation alerts and followed the orders.

In a panic, the newlyweds said they left behind important documents -- birth certificates, marriage license -- along with cash and credit cards, KTLA reported.

They told their host, Jerry, who lived on the property, they were leaving, but Jerry stayed. The couple reached out to an Airbnb representative and were assured their host would be mandated to reimburse them for the nights they were gone due to evacuations, according to the report.

After this, Jerry canceled their reservation and told them to pick up their “junk,” according to the couple. The Wells’ saw the listing for the cottage back up on Airbnb, although they had paid for it through the end of November.

The couple went back to the cottage on November 17 and found their belongings in trash bags, and several thousand dollars worth of items missing, along with important documents.

“I saw our things mixed in with things like trash, napkins, old food, showers mats -- it was disgusting,” Benjamin Wells said.

Benjamin filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department. Jerry posted a message on Airbnb calling the couple “filthy pigs” and claimed she hired a contractor to remove their things from the home, KTLA reported.

Jessica Wells looked into this and said she found Jerry’s husband is a licensed contractor for the company Hannah Construction.

Airbnb has apologized profusely and said they would compensate them for missing and damaged items, according to the couple. Jerry’s account was suspended.

“I don’t think our host would have so easily been able to do what she did if Airbnb was enforcing their policies, and across the board had more consistency with training their personnel,” Jessica Wells said.

Jerry said their street was not under mandatory evacuation, and she planned on filing a small claims case against the couple, KTLA reported.

The Wells’ are now staying with family in San Diego.

FOX 5's Marissa Gonzales contributed to this story.

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