Owner of burned home faces health violations for hoarding - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Owner of burned home faces health violations for hoarding

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Fire crews had to contend with large quantities of junk hindering their battle of Sunday's fire. Fire crews had to contend with large quantities of junk hindering their battle of Sunday's fire.
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A dangerous house fire in North Huntsville Sunday afternoon is raising questions about code violations when it comes to hoarding. Crews were unable to get into the home on Kennan Road because of how much stuff was piled up in the home. WAFF did some digging and learned Huntsville has been dealing with the homeowner since February.

The owner was given a 30-day junk and little notice and a 120-day housing code notice. The city placed a large dumpster in the driveway to help with the clean up. The homeowner did not comply and was issued a citation. He is expected in municipal court this month.

The city code department determined the house is now a health and safety hazard. Crews placed a sign warning people not to enter the home and wrapped the home in yellow caution tape.

The homeowner was able to get out of the home and was uninjured. However, Fire Chief Mac McFarland said situations like these are very dangerous for firefighters and homeowners.

"Unfortunately for residential houses, we don't come out and do inspections unless we are requested to come out and look at something, so it's up to every person," said Chief McFarland.

"They just need to be cautious and think about if you are stacking large stacks of things, that it can fall over. It can hide a hidden fire for a long period of time and there are several dangers involved in that," Chief McFarland said.

It's still unclear what caused the fire to start, but at the scene crews believed it started in the living room.

If you have a messy neighbor and want help handling the situation, call Huntsville Community Development at 256-427-5409.

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