Just when you think you’ve seen it all… boy I tell you, you haven’t. The fun part about this career is that you are constantly kept on your toes, and no two jobs are ever alike.

Every day there is something new to see or do, and usually that involves cleaning up something that most people wouldn’t have any idea how to begin or go about doing so, if they can even get past the extreme sensory overload that comes with working around murders, suicides and catastrophic accidents, in the first place.

The human condition is nothing if not an odd one. We span the spectrum of life, one minute someone is committing an act of pure love for a total stranger on the street, and the next minute somewhere down the block, a man is breaking into his neighbor’s home to maim and kill her pet cats which he believes are plotting to kill his mother.

Thats right, I actually had a case where I had to remediate a woman’s home, just outside of Knoxville Tennessee, I recall, after the schizophrenia-deranged teenager who lived next door, waited for her to go out of town so that he could “eliminate the threats”… or in other words, kill the woman’s persian cats because he thought in his deluded state that they were muslim terrorists sent on a mission to kill his mother. There was fur and blood all over the home, the poor cats had really been put through the courses. The ill boy even “waterboarded” one of the doomed felines, the evidence was clear of it on the edge of the sink in the master bath.

That was a case that underscores the saying that life is stranger than fiction. Believe me, it is.

Another oddball case that I recently took on was related to a hoarder living in a pleasant, middle class neighborhood in Bradenton, Florida, situated between Tampa and Orlando in the south-central part of the state.

As I’ve stated before in my previous blogs, hoarding is a compulsive behavior characterized by obsessively buying or collecting items, which they place an extreme, irrationally high value on, being then unable to either maintain or organize under the sheer volume of materials, as well as the well known attribute… the inability to get rid of or throw anything away.

But there are also other unusual behaviors that I have seen come from a hoard, including this one, like keeping trash or human waste or even in one hoard, the man’s own semen.

When we got to the residence in this case, it was apparent before we ever made it inside that something wasn’t right. Some of the windows near the front of the home had evidence of smoke damage, and I had to check the work order twice just to make sure that we had packed the proper equipment.

After we were inside, however, it became crystal clear what I had been looking at, although I must admit that it made me wonder about this particular individual hoarder. The home, which had been a belonged to a man, the hoarder, who had recently passed away, and like a lot of these places, his family had only seen the horror of a hoard shortly after their loved one died when they opened up the home to determine how his assets would be divided.

Obviously this man had been working on his “collection” for some time as huge piles of random objects were laid out all over the house in piles that stacked to the roof in some places. Many rooms couldn’t be assessed at all, including the kitchen, which leads me to the smoke stains I had seen on the upper portion of the windows and the eaves of the house.

Because the homeowner had been unable to walk into his kitchen due to all the stuff everywhere, he had decided the next best thing was buying a charcoal grill to cook on as he watched tv in the main living area where he prefered to spend most of his time. Empty bags of the black squares were haphazardly thrown here and there, and the carpet beneath the grill had been saturated with lord knows how much rendered fat, which had never been clean and smelled rancid as hell.

The most unbelievable sight, however, was the ceiling… it was completely, utterly black, thoroughly covered with soot. The fan that hung from the center, as well as all of the inlaid light fixtures, were also obscured with a untold number of years worth of the charred, ashy, stanky stuff.

Evaporated oil, a by product of cooking fatty foods, clung to every item located within the room with the grill, and even the couch where the hoarder sat had an outline of his butt in grease.

It was one of the greasiest, hard to clean jobs that I have ever seen and it took about a week to completely remediate. Once the family had the keys to the home back, they got their first look at what turned out to be a very charming little house, under all of that caked on black stickiness. In fact, last I had heard, one of the younger members of this family, a single mother recovering from the loss of her husband during a tour in Afghanistan, had decided to move in, to start rebuilding her life. I thought it was a great idea, the two had been through a lot and could now find peace together… the house and the woman. It was a fitting end.

Regardless of whether the scene is at your home and personal property, a commercial business, or industrial site, we’ll strictly adhere to OSHA regulations and API Worksafe guidelines in our cleanup efforts. We only deploy EPA registered hospital grade cleansers and disinfectants.

If you need trauma or accidental death cleanup guidance, have questions about your payment options or current insurance policy covers don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call at: 800-295-1684

Posted in Hoarding Cleanup
Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment