A fire badly damaged this Glendale home. Firefighters had to battle through the possessions of a hoarder. (Source: CBS 5 News)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
Glendale firefighters had to battle through a hoarder's possessions to fight a house fire early Monday morning.
A passer-by saw flames coming from the home and the home's lone occupant standing outside and called 911 about 5:20 a.m., said Michael Young of the Glendale Fire Department.
Firefighters had to push the possessions back from the front door before they could fight the fire inside the house near 46th and Missouri avenues.
Young said it took more than 75 minutes to get the fire under control because of the materials inside.
He said the elderly resident was immediately taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons because she has a prior medical history. Young said she appeared to have singed hair from the fire.
The house suffered extensive water and fire damage and the structure will have to overhauled because firefighters will have to find ways to pull items from the house and check for hotspots in hidden spaces, Young said.
He said a "hoarder's fire" poses extreme dangers to first-responders, the home's residents and firefighters.
"Hoarding, in general, is just bad all around," he said.
Young said hoarders store items that appear worthless to others, often over a period of years, and that not only are the items, such as magazines and newspapers, often very flammable, but are often stacked and can fall onto and trap people.
He said Glendale police and firefighters had been the woman's home in the past for different types of calls and stayed outside because of the potential danger.
The fire appeared to have started in the entry way and spread to the rest of the home, but the investigation was continuing to determine the exact cause of the fire, Young said.
No other injuries were reported.
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