Hoarding likely factor behind two fires at Scottsdale home

Print
Email
|

by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Updated Friday, May 27 at 9:48 AM

Map: Scottsdale house fire

View larger map

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A Scottsdale home on Earll and 77th street caught on fire early Tuesday morning and reignited again 24 hours later.

Fire officials and neighbors believe excessive clutter is likely to blame.

Neighbors say the owner of a home, a widow in her 70s, is a hoarder who collected dolls and other items and kept stacks of boxes of her treasures.

They also say she would carved out a walkway so she could move through the house.

"The boxes were clear to the ceiling," said neighbor Kathy Stallman.

The first fire started in the home's carport and quickly spread to the rest of the house and attic, according to Scottsdale Fire officials.

The homeowner suffered burns and was hospitalized.

Twenty-four hours later the fire started again, at around 3:30 in the morning on Wednesday. Neighbors say it was likely because of smoldering debris firefighters couldn't get to because of the clutter.

People in the neighborhood say they would worry the hoarding would create a dangerous situation.

"We worried about it all the time, but there's nothing you can do," said neighbor Gene Weaver, whose home was damaged by the fire. "You can't call the police and say 'this woman's hoarding you gotta take care of it,' it's her property."

Print
Email
|