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Mesa couple comes home with newborn to find raw sewage in apartment

Posted: 6:07 PM, Oct 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-10 21:53:50-04

A Mesa couple bringing home their newborn daughter didn’t get the homecoming they expected.

"As we walked in, we found raw sewage coming out of the toilet, coming out of the tub onto to the floor, then it started flooding,” said Jennifer Durand.

Her husband, Greg Karolchik, began to clean it up to get it under control.

He said he couldn't get a hold of management at the Brook View Apartments right away after repeated calls. Desperate, he flagged down an officer who was nearby to help them out.

The officer got management to respond. That officer even paid for a hotel to get the couple and their newborn out of there.

"First night home with her, and I thought it would be different,” Karolchik said emotionally.

That's because Karolchik stayed behind to look after the apartment and make sure the sewage didn't spread.

Now, the couple wants to get out. But since management has fixed everything, it may not be that simple.

"That's toilet water under the bridge,” said Ken Volk, Arizona Tenants Advocates president.

If you want to break a lease in this case, you have options, according to Volk. But first, you need proof that the sewage actually flooded the apartment, not just pictures of the messy aftermath.  

A certain process should be followed, and the tenant should get out immediately.

"Vacate immediately, and then wrap up the termination. That would be the return of keys within 14 calendar days of the incident,” Volk said.

The couple said the maintenance crew did a good job of cleaning up the mess, but they're concerned it'll happen again.

"I don't want a river of sewage spilling under my baby," Karolchik said.

The couple said they couldn’t afford a hotel, so they’re grateful to the Mesa police officer who helped them out. They’d like to find out exactly who he is to thank him.