KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles city crews on Thursday began clearing away massive piles of trash outside a Koreatown home whose owner has been described as a hoarder.
The piles of junk, stacked about 8 feet high in some places on the property, are visible from the street and overhead. They include appliances, books, furniture and clothing, among other items, nearly surrounding the single-story house. Rats and cockroaches have infested the small mountain of debris.
Neighbors say 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 say 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