Homeowner displaced after raw sewage overtakes floors; city works to fix issue

(Source: Charles Gauthier)
(Source: Charles Gauthier)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It is hard to miss the mess inside Charles Gauthier's home on Brady Street and in case that is not nasty enough, as soon as anyone walks through the front door, the smell is nearly unbearable.

"Well, words come to mind but it's just not appropriate for TV," said Gauthier.

Black sludge somehow erupted from the toilet and bathtub Friday afternoon and spewed just about everything imaginable onto nearly every inch of the home.

Gauthier says he was taking a nap on the couch around 2:00 p.m. when he first noticed the awful odor. Once he got up and made it to the hallway, Gauthier realized it was much worse than he could have imagined. The smelly situation he found actually stemmed from the bathroom.

"In the tub is the ring line and that's at least six inches of sewage that backed up here and also inside the toilet," Gauthier explained.

Gauthier says he immediately raced outside to make sense of the problem. There he found crews from the city working on the sewage lines. It turns out, they were trying to fix a blockage a few houses down when something went horribly wrong and turned the homeowner's Friday upside down.

"It's some things that got damaged that I can't really replace," said Gauthier. "There are papers and things that I have to go through and throw away. It's just bad timing."

After a flurry of phone calls, he was able to get his dog out of the house and he too is now forced for find a hotel room for the weekend. He says the estimate is that he won't be able to come back until sometime Monday.

From the bathroom, to the hallways and even the kitchen, Gauthier says the mess is just about everywhere in the home. He says if others could smell it, they would get out, too.

"If the camera had a smell to it, y'all would say, 'he should have been left,' but I still have to wait around until the cleaning crew gets here," Gauthier said.

Luckily the cleaning crew with Guarantee Restoration Services did show up late Friday evening, about four hours after the initial complaint.

WAFB's Scottie Hunter reached out to the city for answers on what may have cause the problem.

Richard Speer, director of environmental services for the city-parish, confirmed crews were out trying to fix a blockage in the line. He said they are not sure exactly what caused the issue at this time but that they are working to fix it and to make things right with Gauthier.

"I was pretty much happy with the city," said Gauthier. "It's just a timely process to getting it done."

For now, he is just trying to stay positive and make the best out of a bad situation.

"I'm blessed, not stressed right now," said Gauthier.

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