Fire destroys home believed to be owned by hoarder

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

PHOENIX -- Crews had a difficult time fighting a house fire Friday morning due to the amount of belongings inside.

When Phoenix firefighters arrived at the home near 17th Avenue and Van Buren Street it was tough to gain access.

"His guys couldn't get in through the front door so they had to break the windows to get in," Capt. Jorge Enriquez said.

Inside the home, Enriquez said firefighters had to navigate through a lot of stuff, mainly furniture and clothes piled high throughout the home. They quickly realized the home belonged to a hoarder and had to be even more careful.

While firefighters figured out a way to fight the fire, 3TV caught up with the homeowner -- a woman who lived elsewhere but used this home to store items. She didn't want to reveal her identity, but she adamantly denied being a hoarder and said she was a collector. She said everything inside the home was valuable.

She also said the mess inside was caused two months ago by thieves and bums who had broken in and tore the place up. In the end, the home couldn't be saved and just about everything inside was destroyed.

"At this time, they're not sure what caused this fire," Enriquez said.

Nobody was hurt in the fire.

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