Hoarder avoids death as 20 tonnes of rubbish collapses floor

The view through the window
The view through the window Independent News & Media

A LONDON hoarder had a lucky escape when her ceiling collapsed under the weight of 20 tonnes of rubbish.

Wendy Towers, 61, of Forest Gate, east London, was feared dead and buried beneath the rubble by neighbours when they contacted police on Tuesday after seeing that her living room ceiling had caved in.

Luckily for Ms Towers she was staying with a friend when the ceiling gave way and returned to her home of 30 years last night unaware of what had happened.

Police officers, demolition workers and firefighters were called to the scene to secure the and search the terraced home. When they couldn't find Ms Towers the alarm was raised.

According to the London Evening Standard council workers claimed they found rubbish - including plastic food wrappers, glass bottles, rubble and faeces piled as high as 1.5 metres in the house.

Upstairs in the bedroom there was just two foot of standing room.

The house has since been boarded up to prevent Ms Towers from returning, she told the Evening Standard: "I'm okay, I will go and stay with some friends in Snaresbrook. It will be a new start."

Rozmin Najak, 26, who lives opposite told the paper: "We thought she was dead. We had not seen her for a week, and she was not the type to go on holiday."

The waste disposal company involved in clearing the house claimed there was "at least 20 tonnes of stuff in there."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said they were called to the scene on Tuesday by reports of "a person trapped behind closed doors".

He added: "Police and London Fire Brigade (LFB) attended the scene. On arrival the structure of the address was found to be unsafe due to the collapse of the front room ceiling."

Topics:  editors picks elderly hoarding london

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