Hoarding blamed for trouble fighting fire

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by Mike Gertzman

azfamily.com

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 1:28 PM

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Firefighters are blaming hoarding for the difficulty they had fighting a fire at a mobile home on Thanksgiving.

The fire was in a neighborhood near 67th and Northern Avenues.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they quickly realized the home was packed with items from floor to ceiling and all doors and windows were blocked.

The items in the home included newspapers, magazines, personal papers, clothing, furniture, appliances, boxes and trash.

The walls of the mobile home had to be removed from the outside for firefighters to fully extinguish the blaze, according to Michael Young with the Glendale Fire Dept.

Two dogs were saved from the fire.

"I was at work," said Eugene Manten, the man who lives in that home. "I'm like you're kidding right, no sorry your house is on fire and I felt an immediate sense of panic and dread kind of set of in."

Manten was panicked because he feared his dogs might have been trapped by the fire.

Luckily, his neighbor knew about the dogs and alerted firefighters.

Glendale Fire Investigators are classifying the cause of the fire as undetermined at this time.

Firefighters want to remind residents about the dangers of hoarding items, which include:

  • Increased risk of fire due to the accumulation of combustibles such as papers, clothing and rubbish poses a severe fire hazard
  • Blocked escape from fire due to the exits, hallways, windows and doors being obstructed by debris
  • Extreme risk to emergency response personnel
  • Risk of structural damage due to the weight of the items being hoarded
  • Risk of injury or death due to being trapped under falling debris
  • Risk of disease, injury or infestation by insects or rodents
     

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