as we stood out back as Mt Lebanon firefighters put out the fire and secured the scene on the 2nd floor . It was then that we started seeing firefighters throwing pile after pile after pile of newspapers and magazines out of the 2nd floor apartment window which had caught fire
The problem the women was a hoarder and had the apartment filled with newspapers to 4 ft high with only place to sit down was small place in kitchen and bathroom. Even thou alarms activated and she tried to escape her junk filled apartment and Mt Lebanon Firefighters and medics did there best to save her life She would pass away from smoke damage to her lungs.
Yes hoarding is becoming a major problem and only getting worse I saw it all the time when I served as a firefighter. and it is these cluttered junked up homes and apartments which are becoming fire traps, and frequently become death traps when a fire does start as owners and tenants can not escape.
One of the worst cases of hoarding involved a set of brothers in New York City who ended up dying in the death trap they created .
But unless agency's are willing to get involved or until the time the person is considered a harm to them selves or the community not much can be done. You will just keep hearing more and more about these cases. The earlier you can find out a relative or friend is doing it, the easier it is to get the help and treatment they need.