Officials say Tempe house fire fueled by hoardingPosted: Updated:
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Flames tore through a Tempe home Friday afternoon, fueled by a massive amount of "stuff" inside.
Tempe Fire Department officials say the residents of the homes were hoarders, and the house was filled with belongings from floor-to-ceiling, making the blaze difficult to get under control.
Two residents were home at the time but were able to escape uninjured. A third resident was not home at the time.
A dog also made it to safety, but Tempe Fire Investigator Mike Reichling said there were a number of cats that lived in the attic whose fates were unknown.
Flames and smoke from the fire on East Riviera Drive near Southern and Dobson could be seen for miles.
"It was like something you'd see in Hollywood, it seemed bigger than a house fire," said neighbor James Molar.
Neighbors say it was well known that the residents of the home hoarded, and some said they had called the city to complain in the past.
"I've predicted this for 16 years," said neighbor Dave Duncanson. "The guy could be on the TV show 'hoarders.'"
The Red Cross provided shelter for the residents.
Fire crews stayed on scene late into the night doing an "overhaul" of the house, and making sure all of the hot spots were extinguished.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.