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‘I Don’t Feel Like It’s Safe’: Melrose Homeowners Speak Out on Sewage Damage

'It is not a place I want to be anymore,' one Brazil Street homeowner said. 'I don’t feel like it’s safe. I don’t feel like it’s happy.'

More than a month after sewage started spewing from toilets in Melrose, Massachusetts, another town meeting was held Thursday night to hear from those people whose Brazil Street homes were destroyed.

Julie Salvato is the woman who took the infamous video of raw sewage exploding out of her toilet in June.

“These are tiny homes,” said Salvato. “We have a living room, we have two bedrooms, we have a bathroom and a kitchen and wall to wall was covered with feces. There’s no nicer way to say it.”

Thursday night she shared her story for the first time when she went before the Melrose Board of Aldermen.

“It is not a place I want to be anymore,” she said. “I don’t feel like it’s safe. I don’t feel like it’s happy.”

She, along with her neighbors on Brazil Street, and Alderman Shawn MacMaster who represents the neighborhood, are now asking Mayor Gail Infurnafor to hire an independent environmental inspector to test for toxins, bacteria and pathogens inside their homes.

They argue the city’s health inspector doesn’t have the necessary experience to sign-off on allowing residents to move back in.

In a statement, Mayor Infurna says the environmental testing would have no merit because it’s not supported by scientific standards.

And she has to be prudent with taxpayer money, she says.

“We have no floors,” said Salvato. “We have no walls, we have nothing, we have a new toilet, with the exception of that the house is a disaster.”

The Board of Alderman passed a resolution Thursday night 8-1 asking the mayor to hire a specialist.

But it’s a non-binding measure and the mayor will have the final say.

Click here to read Mayor Infurna's full statement prior to Thursday's vote.

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