Fire crews struggle fighting flames at 'hoarder' home - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Fire crews struggle fighting flames at 'hoarder' home

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

Talk about a nightmare for fire crews.  A fire breaks out in the home of a hoarder -- the house near Missouri and 46th Avenue was filled with so many things that firefighters had trouble getting inside.

This is the second hoarding fire in Glendale in less than two weeks.  The first happened on Thanksgiving Day.  Both are very dangerous for firefighters.

When the fire broke out, firefighters immediately knew this fire could be tough to fight.

"Every room in there was packed full of stuff," said Matt Young of the Glendale Fire Department.

The house was tagged a hoarding home years ago.  Firefighters had been out to this house before for medical calls.  They say there are so many things inside -- the windows and front door were blocked.

"Her backyard and her house is filled with stuff.. she can't get in the front door, she gets in the backdoor to get into the place," said John Hurley, a neighbor.

Hurley was worried about his 68-year-old neighbor who lives inside alone.  He also worried about the firefighters.

"She's had roof leaks.. this is a dangerous thing for the fire department because they get up on that roof, they could fall through.. there's no getting out of that house," he said.

The homeowner managed to get out safely.  Hurley says for years, the city had tried to help clear out her home.

"They brought out a dumpster and put it across the street and let her fill it and it just put a tiny dent in the place."

It took firefighters a few hours to fight the fire.  Investigators say there were also 60 to 70 oxygen tanks inside the home -- making the fire even more difficult to fight.

Firefighters used a special camera called a Tic Camera to see inside the home.  With this camera, crews can look for people and hotspots without physically going in.

The camera also helped firefighters fight another hoarding fire on Thanksgiving.

"We're cautious, but we're always going to be extra cautious when we know houses are full of stuff.  It's real easy to get tangled up and you can't see and it's hot," said Young.

The Red Cross was called in to help both homeowners.

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