CITRUS HEIGHTS - Chain saws and wood chippers signaled the beginning of the end of a years-long saga in a Citrus Heights neighborhood.
Neighbors say the house on the corner of Spicer Drive and San Juan Avenue has become more than an eyesore over the last 20 years -- they call it a feral cat haven.
"It has held us hostage, definitely," said Marcelle Flowers, the neighbor who petitioned the city of Citrus Heights to tear the house down. "We wouldn't have been able to sell our home; we couldn't go out in our back yard and enjoy friends and family without having to endure the horrible, horrific smells that would come wafting over the fence."
The house has been condemned for 12 years, according to neighbors. But in that time, they say the home's owner has continued to feed and house feral cats and the house is filled floor-to-ceiling with garbage and other hoarded items.
"We've all lived next to this and suffered through this for so long, and so it's a victory for all of us,"Flowers said.
Nancy Logsden owns the house, and said after her property was sealed off in February 2013, she simply could not keep up with the the place.
"There's no washer, dryer, there's no dishwasher, I didn't flush the waste down. You know, I ordinarily would have," she said.
There were no appliances because the house was condemned and the utilities had been cut off for a decade.
Logsden has been living elsewhere in Citrus Heights with her ailing husband. Neighbors say she still visits the property almost nightly, bringing more cats to the house and feeding any that are still around.
On Dec. 18, a judge sided with Flowers' attorney and the city of Citrus Heights, ordering the house to be torn down.
"It's great," neighbor Steve Spellman said, "for the whole street, the whole neighborhood. For the city also!"
""Ugh, Lord, just relief, just to get rid of the mess," said neighbor Alice Brown.
"At last!" added her husband, Cal.