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Imperial Beach firefighters were called to a home in the 1200 block of 7th Street shortly before 8:00 a.m. on March 8.

Firefighters had to stretch their hoses 1500 feet to reach the nearest hydrant. They then discovered that the house had so much clutter, they wouldn't be able to enter safely. Crews cut holes in the home’s roof to access the fire, but flames from the attic forced them off.

"The house has a lot of combustibles inside, and we describe it as a typical hoarding house,” said Imperial Beach fire chief Tom Clark. “When you enter a house and you can’t get past the front door because of all the combustibles, you’re putting rescue crews in danger.”

A next-door neighbor described the family who lived in the burned home as, “Kind of weird, but they didn’t cause any trouble on the block.”

After about 45 minutes of shooting water into the back of the house, firefighters were able to enter through the front door, but only by going in sideways, dragging a hose with them.

According to neighbors, the elderly couple who reside in the house were out of town. A dead skunk in a pet carrier was removed from the garage, and a German shepherd was safely evacuated from the backyard.

Fire units from Coronado and Chula Vista also responded.

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Gail Powell March 9, 2012 @ 11:11 a.m.

Hoarders and all the crap they like to pile up are dangers to everyone--not just the obsessed "collectors" who can't seem to throw anything away.

I live in the dysfunctional Mariner's Cove apartments in Ocean Beach and the low-income HUD units here have about 5 known hoarders who dumpster dive and store trash and junk in their tax-payer supported units. Not too mention one man from Tijuana in particular who somehow managed to suck up to the right people & got into one of the 3-bedroom apartments that he stores full of useless shit. His excuse: he always says "he will take the crap to Tijuana to help the poor." Yeah, right. This POS hauls it to Kobey's Swap Meet and tries to sell it.

Now his late, late, late model blue truck that does not run and has expired tags is LOADED with all kinds of junk. Do you think the property managers do anything about this? They can't be bothered because the on site nitwits in charge at Ghetto Cove are too busy shuffling papers in their offices to actually do any work.

Look under Neighborhood Photos (Ocean Beach) & I will post some pictures, if you don't believe me. Next stop to try and fix the hoarding problem here: calling Turko @ KUSI and filing a Neighborhood Code Compliance complaint with the City. Hoarders are not some nut jobs who can't seem to clean house--they are a HAZARD and DANGER to us all, as this Imperial Beach "stringers" story attests to.


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