City of Tempe spokeswoman Sue Taaffe says hoarding makes it difficult for firefighters to help in emergency situations. According to Taaffe, Tempe firefighters have encountered many cases of hoarding.
Taaffe says that according to Hartford Hospital, compulsive hoarding may affect up to two million people in the United States. Obsessive hoarding can cost thousands of dollars and isolate people from their friends and family.
“In March of 2011, two Tempe firefighters were injured while fighting a fire in a home stacked with furniture, paper, boxes and trash,” said Mike Reichling, Tempe Fire Inspector. “Cases like these are far too common and can cause injury to the homeowner and first responders.”