KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One day after Los Angeles city workers began clearing massive piles of trash outside of home in Koreatown, residents are already seeing a difference.
Workers began cleaning out piles of junk on Thursday from the home whose owner was described as a hoarder. By Friday morning, the front of the home was cleared, though neighbors say a smell still lingers.
"It bothers me too much, especially for my health," said neighbor Leticia Ruiz. "I'm not young anymore. In fact, I asked my son to buy me an air purifier. I close my windows."
At one point, the junk was stacked about 8 feet high in some places on the property and were visible from the street and overhead. It included appliances, books, furniture and clothing, among other items, which nearly surrounded the single-story house.
Rats and cockroaches had infested the small mountain of debris.
Neighbors told Eyewitness News they've been complaining to the city about the residential eyesore for years.
A 90-year-old woman lives at the home with her son, who had accumulated the junk, and on Thursday watched city workers used a bulldozer to haul it away.
The cleanup is expected to provide some relief for nearby residents, as well as the homeowner.
"It's overwhelming, honestly," Dwayne Jones, who lives nearby, told ABC7. "You see it every day, and to actually see the crews here -- I'm really just taken aback, how much stuff there is. It's very relieving to see this go."
Experts said hoarding is often tied to a form of emotional loneliness and isolation.
"It's almost like emotional insulation," John Tsilimparis, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, told ABC7. "It's the way that they fill in the gaps and the voids in their lives, with these possessions."
Personnel with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the Los Angeles Police Department's Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team have visited the home to offer their services, officials said.
Aerial view of Koreatown hoarding home