Lawndale residents concerned over fire risks at apparent hoarder situation

Lawndale residents are raising concerns about a hoarding situation at a neighborhood home, and say that despite calls to the city and the fire department, the case keeps getting "tossed around" between agencies.

"The inside of her house is like the outside," one neighbor said. "She wants me to move the stuff to the backyard, but there's no room in the backyard either."

The woman who lives there is in her 80s. The yard, in fact, is barely visible under the mountains of trash. The scene has neighbors concerned a potential fire could spread almost as quickly as the critters seem to have.

"She just walks around, collects stuff, brings it home, dumps it in her yard, goes back and does it again," said Eddie Trujillo. 

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Trujillo said there are pests like cockroaches, rats and possums crawling through the debris.

When asked whether the city has come out to survey the property, Trujillo said, "Oh yeah, the city, the fire department, [the] sheriff's department, the utilities, they've all been here… They just toss it around, [saying,] ‘We’ll get on it.'"

The city of Lawndale said it's aware of the situation at this home, and has had a case since 2022. City officials have been trying to get into the home, but the homeowner hasn't given them access.

Other neighbors, who didn't want to go on camera, say they've tried to help the woman who lives at the home clear out some of the stuff, but she's refused.

"She's a nice lady, I'd like to help her," one said. "I told her, ‘I am gonna get rid of this,’ [and] she's ‘No, I need that!’"

Trujillo said that when he and other neighbors tried to remove some items "She says ‘No no no,’… I gotta get it to the kids."

While the home is in no imminent danger, the woman who lives there is in danger of losing her home, as she hasn't been able to make payments, and is terrified because she has nowhere to go.