REVERE, MASS. (WHDH) - Late one October night, Lana Logatti and her husband found dirty sewer water flooding their Revere home.
“We opened the basement door, we walked downstairs and it was like a lake,” says Logatti. “It smelled so bad, the water was so disgusting.”
Logatti says the dirty water was also coming through her bathroom and kitchen sinks.
At the same time, the same thing was happening in other homes.
“It was everywhere. It was dangerous,” says Ines Cirkic, who lives next door to the Logattis.
Kim Alba’s father lives a block over. His basement, too “was shooting out feces and sewage all over the place.”
“It was just pouring in,” says Alba. “It’s over a 1,000 square feet of basement and it was filled 4-6 inches.”
The homeowners say the city initially took responsibility, admitting a sewage pipe became blocked and that caused the flooding.
But they say now the city is refusing to pay for all the damage.
“I lose everything downstairs, refrigerator, washer dryer table,” says Angela Chirco.
In a letter, the city has offered each homeowner $3,000 for “frustration, damage and expense.”
But none of them are taking that money.
They say it doesn’t begin to cover the cost of cleaning and repairs.
“Over $100,000 damage in my home,” says Logatti.
The city won’t pay more because officials don’t believe the city was negligent. They say the blockage that led to this incident was a result of buildup of fats, oil and grease.
“Me and my neighbors, we’re all upset, we’re all angry, we’re all sad. This is very unfair what’s happening here,” says Logatti.
Some homeowners say their insurance companies won’t pay for the damage because they believe the city should pay.
“Insurance said that is city hall’s fault,” says Cirkic.
And it’s not just the homeowners who are frustrated.
Brian Bilowz says his company, Restore Pro, was hired by the city to clean up the sewage and he isn’t getting paid either.
Bilowz says the city’s water and sewer foreman directed his men on the project.
“He said the city’s responsible, I’m in charge,” says Bilowz. “We basically just followed the instructions we received from the City of Revere’s workers.
Until 7 News got involved, the city was refusing to pay the cleanup company and the homeowners were getting the $44,000 bill.
We reached out to the city and a spokesperson told us that although they did not authorize Restore Pro to do the work, they would now pay those Restore Pro bills.
“That’s great. We certainly don’t want the homeowners to have to be responsible,” says Bilowz.
Now the homeowners hope the city will step up again and agree to pay for all their damage.
“Sewer water came into my house, damaged my stuff and my home and I have to pay for it. I don’t feel like I have to pay for it. It’s not right,” says Logatti.
When 7 Investigates asked the city if they are ultimately responsible since it was a city pipe, a spokesperson said when sewage backs up onto private property, it is the property owner’s responsibility.
But a lawyer we spoke with, who is not involved in this situation, says that’s not always the case.
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