EMS Call Becomes HazMat Incident in Georgia Home

Firefighters donned SCBA and hazmat suits before navigating through chest-high piles of trash


DUFFIE DIXON, 11Alive | | Wednesday, June 23, 2010


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Woman Rescued from Trash Filled Home

It took almost one hour to locate and remove the Sandy Springs resident.
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SANDY SPRINGS, GA - A woman is in the hospital after being rescued from her own home, which firefighers say was filled chest high with trash.

Tuesday morning firefighters responded to a medical call on the 4700 block of Kitty Hawk Drive in Sandy Springs. It took them nearly an hour to locate the homeowner, a woman in her thirites, and transport her to the hospital.

Because of medical confidentiality rules, the condition of the woman is not known, but firefighters initially described her as "incapacitated."

Chief Ronnie Thomas with Sandy Springs Fire and Rescue said that crews treated the call as a possible hazardous materials situation based upon what they found when they opened the front door.

"Trash was stacked up against the front door and when they opened it, all sorts of things came tumbling out," Thomas said.

Firefighters retreated and donned hazmat suits and put on air tanks.  It took them 15 minutes to locate the homeowner and another 40 minutes to bring her out.

The home has since been condemned until it can be cleaned up.

Neighbors admit to seeing an array of food delivery trucks frequent the home and watched trash pile up outside the home for over a year.

Kathryn Humphrey lives a few houses down and said she now feels guilty that she didn't take more interest in checking on the welfare of the homeowner.

"I think we should all feel a little ashamed if we live in this neighborhood," Humphrey said. "I noticed the house and the trash and the filty cars.  I assumed it was an elderly couple that lived there and that someone was helping them out.  I should have knocked on the door.  I could have helped her out."

Woman Rescued from Trash Filled Home

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