Hoarding Does Kill

Hoarding is a deadly mental illness when left untreated. Most people see hoarding as unclean and unsanitary but don’t think of hoarding as a killer disease. But the end result of hoarding, a house or apartment stuff with clutter, presents a lethal hazard to the hoarder.

Hoarding can creates piles of junk eight feet high or more. These junk mountains can shift or collapse if even the slightest thing is changed. It isn’t uncommon to find hoarders buried under an avalanche of stuff, suffocated or crushed to death. Fire is also an ever present danger for hoarders. Homes stuffed with clutter devolve into tinderboxes that can explode and burn. And once a hoarder’s home catches fire there is precious little a fire department can do to stop it.


HUMAN remains have been found under piles of rubbish at a home of an elderly woman, reported missing more than 18 months ago in Melbourne’s north.

Police searched the property of missing Fitzroy woman Phyllis Kelly in Little Charles St, after gaining permission from the Coroner.


The 82-year-old has not been seen since August 20, 2011, when she reportedly visited the State Theatre in St Kilda Rd just after 6pm.


A friend reported a phone call a month after Ms Kelly was seen but no one had heard from her since. Her bank account had not been used.


Officers and a pathologist discovered a severely decayed body under garbage piled metres high.


They found bags stuffed with garbage, material and clothes stacked to the ceiling with small walkways cleared through the rooms.


Hoarding can and does kill. If you have a friend or relative that is hoarding, get them help immediately. 

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