Thursday, July 19, 2012
7 News Investigations: Officials clean condo of hoarded mess
An update to an exclusive 7News Investigation. Officials showing up, and cleaning out piles of trash from a North Miami Beach condo. It all began when a neighbor called 7News raising more than a stink. Tonight he and others will soon be able to breathe a little easier, and hopefully the people who lived in that condo will be able to get the help they need. 7s Patrick Fraser has the update.
WSVN -- How much trash can two hoarders stuff into a condo in 12 months? The neighbors here at Crest View Towers thought they had an idea. Today they found out it was way more than they ever imagined.
It took a judge to make the hoarders open the door. The brother and sister on the sixth floor had to leave, they took their dog and turtle and let the clean up crew come in.
Neighbor Guillermo Diaz: "They need to vacate the apartment, so they can clean it up, so they can take all the trash out."
Piece by piece the workers picked up years of trash that had piled up in this one-bedroom condo. The roaches that had infested the unit watched.
Pedro Gomez lived one floor below.
Pedro Gomez: "It's just crazy. Crazy I've never seen anything like that."
The smell was frightening. Other owners had complained to Help Me Howard after the association could not get anything done.
Howard Finkelstein says it's not illegal to hoard ... till you cross the line.
Howard Finkelstein: "And that line is when you become a danger or a health hazard to yourself or others.
A judged agreed. Thursday, a North Miami Beach Police officer made the hoarders leave. DCF offered them a room at an assisted living facility while their condo was cleared up.
It will take several days to clear out the mess that took them 12 years to pile up.
Patrick Fraser: The workers told me today that they think they should fill that dumpster easily in about five days. The Hoarders will be allowed to return after the place is clean, but they will not be allowed to hoard, meaning they might need some counseling. You might have noticed we did not show the hoarders. We didn't identify them because hoarding is a sickness. They need help not humiliation."