SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA - Firefighters had to put out two fires in just as many days in homes of hoarders.
On Thursday, firefighters encountered a fire at a home in 2000 block of Hyannis Way in Sacramento County.
Next door neighbor Diane Belk was afraid the fire would jump to her home.
"I was definitely panicked because smoke was coming out of the chimney, the house," Belk said. "The flames were humongous, out of control."
Firefighters on scene didn't mince words.
"We had hoarding. Hoarders within the house," Sac Metro Fire Battalion Chief Charles Jenkins said. "There was stuff stacked from the floor to the ceiling."
The day earlier, a fire a fire broke out in South Sacramento on 66th Avenue, near Florin. It, too, was packed from floor to ceiling.
Shows like "Hoarders" have made people much more aware of the condition, and the toll it can take on people in the home and their family.
But it can also create additional hazards for firefighters. It makes getting in and out extremely difficult and it's harder for crews to dig through and get around the piles.
"It takes us longer because we have to navigate through the debris or belongings and it takes longer to find the victim," Jenkins said.
More stuff also means more to burn. Firefighters returned to the home on Hyannis Way Thursday evening to make sure there weren't any hot spots. According to neighbors, the home had been abandoned for some time and squatters were often seen coming and going.
"It obviously was attracting unsavory characters," neighbor Amy Gillingwater said. "And it was bringing certain people in the neighborhood that shouldn't have been here."
Fortunately, neither fires spread to other homes. The cause of both fires is still under investigation.
"It's still scary but, yes, it's very lucky it didn't come next door," Belk added.