'Health Risk' | 

Firefighters rescue Dublin man (70s) trapped under pile of hoarded belongings for 14 hours

Dublin Fire Brigade found the man stuck under piles of rubbish and belongings inside a house in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area

Photo: Dublin Fire Brigade

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Firefighters rescued a man from his Dublin home after he became trapped inside for around 14 hours surrounded by piles of rubbish and belongings.

Dublin Fire Brigade found the man, aged in his 70s, stuck under a pile of possessions inside a house in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area of South Dublin, according to the Irish Times.

He was taken to St James’s Hospital shortly after being freed from the rubble, where he was treated for minor back injuries.

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The Dublin Fire Brigade took to social media on Tuesday to share some photos from the scene, which showed piles of rubbish stacked up to the ceiling.

They warned that hoarding was both a fire and safety hazard, as well as a disorder that requires treatment and medical advice.

“Firefighters were called to a person who became trapped in their home due to hoarding,” the Dublin Fire Brigade wrote.

“Hoarding is a disorder that needs treatment and managing. Apart from an obvious fire and escape risk, hoarding is a health risk.

“Do you know someone who hoards? Speak to their GP for advice.”

The World Health Organisation classified hoarding as a medical disorder in 2018, describing it as an “accumulation of possessions due to excessive acquisition of — or difficulty discarding — possessions, regardless of their actual value.”

According to the HSE, hoarding may be a symptom of another condition.

Mental health issues associated with hoarding include severe depression, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

In some cases, hoarding is a condition in itself and associated with self-neglect.

People who hoard are more likely to live alone, be unmarried, have had a deprived childhood, have a family history of hoarding or have grown up in a cluttered home.

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