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I Don't Understand

The body of an elderly male was pulled from a rotting pile of debris in a cluttered home a day after an 85-year-old woman was found, alive, trapped there under mounds of garbage.

The man, whose name was not released, was found after officials resumed a search of the house on Long Island, just east of New York City. Debris mixed with human and animal waste was piled high in every room, some all the way to the ceiling.

Helen Bushwick was found Thursday evening, located by her feet and her moans, when volunteer firefighters responded to the two-story house, in a tidy upper- middle-class neighborhood, after relatives told police they could not reach her.


Bushwick was taken to Franklin Medical Center where she was admitted with dehydration. Officials were not sure how long they had been trapped, but neighbors said they last saw them about a week ago.

"A six-foot pile of rubbish collapsed on her and trapped her in there," Erik Kinney, a volunteer firefighter, said of Bushwick. Six feet is about 185 centimeters.

There was garbage -- "cans, boxes, clothing, papers, whatever you can collect in every room, some spots to the ceiling, some three feet to the ceiling," Kenney said. "Feces -- raccoon, possum and human" were found in buckets and in the trash.

"The stench was very strong, as you can imagine," he added.

The house will be boarded up, and the woman's relatives will be allowed to go through the contents. Afterward, the buildings department will assess whether the structure is sound.

This article just raises more questions than it answers. Why was there feces and garbage piled 6 ft high in this woman's house? If she had relatives who were concerned enough to call the fire department after not being able to reach her, how is it that they didn't know she was living in these conditions? How could anyone living next door to her not have complained to the health department about the smell?

And what NY firefighter uses the word "rubbish"?

By min | April 16, 2007, 12:10 PM | Ummm... Other?


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