• Local family says rat problem forced them out of their home

    By: Kathryn Burcham

    Updated:

    SHIRLEY, Mass. - A local family is demanding answers after they say their house is infested with rats and town officials aren't doing anything to help them.

    Last month, something began chewing through Lindsay Calderwood's cabinets and dishwasher, so she installed home surveillance cameras and was horrified by what she saw unfold while her family slept.

    Rats. 

    "We heard things in the ceiling and we assumed it was mice, the mice that come around this time of year," said Calderwood.

    When Calderwood's husband tried to plug the holes in the wall with steel mesh, they began smoking as the rats chewed through live wires.

    Now it's been over a week since she and her three young children have been inside their home. Calderwood moved her family into a relative's home and turned to the Shirley Board of Health for help, but was shocked by how she says town officials responded, implying it was her fault. 

    "He told me the rats wouldn't be there if they didn't have a reason, and it's all about cleanliness and you need to clean your space," she said.

    Calderwood says she doesn't want to cast blame, she just wants answers, along with the two dozen others who share the same concern. 

    "I'm not trying to vilify anybody, I just want it fixed," she said.

    Earlier this week, Calderwood confronted town leaders at a meeting. They said there's only so much they can do with rats living on private property but say they'll work with residents to find a solution. 

    Calderwood hopes to return home by this weekend and will meet with town officials next week. 

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