More than 7 tons of garbage removed from Fairfax District ‘trash house’ so far, city says


FAIRFAX DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — More than seven tons of trash that has accumulated outside a Fairfax District home have been removed so far in a laborious cleanup operation, according to the city, and the work continues Thursday.

Fairfax District “trash house” sparks concern

The small mountain of garbage quickly became an eyesore on North Martel Avenue, just off Melrose Avenue, while prompting concerns from neighbors about the homeowner’s well-being.

The property – which was covered almost entirely with hundreds of bags full of bottles, cans, clothing and other refuse — is situated between two multimillion-dollar homes.

The matter prompted a visit from Mayor Karen Bass and Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, along with Department of Public Works workers.

“It’s been getting worse and worse, and the smell’s been getting really bad, and we’ve noticed more flies and insects,” said neighbor Rebecca Yale.

The issue has been raising questions from residents who live in the area, including, “Why is the homeowner letting this happen?”

The small, single-story house on the property was surrounded by piles trash, some stacked as high as 6 feet.

“I haven’t noticed the smell but I have heard of rodents and other animals in the neighborhood,” Fairfax District resident Rob Meyerhoff told ABC7. “So I think that’s obviously an issue, and I can only imagine what conditions are like for him inside,” Meyerhoff said, referring to the homeowner.

Cleanup operation begin after city declares home health risk

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety declared the property an “imminent public safety and health risk” around noon on Wednesday, giving city crews the authority to go in and remove the trash.

Aerial footage taken by AIR7 HD Wednesday showed at least nine workers shoveling the trash, bag by bag, and dumping it all into dumpsters. At one point, neighbors reported seeing rats and other rodents coming out of the home.

By Thursday morning, crews had already removed 7 tons of garbage.

Neighbors fear homeowner suffers from mental health issues; sister speaks out

People who live in the area have expressed concern for the homeowner himself.

“Is anyone taking care of him? Because I’m worried about him,” said Yale. “I assume that there’s some mental health issues happening to have the house get to this point.”

City records show the homeowner was fined eight years ago. Conditions at the location improved after that, then began to deteriorate about a year ago.

“I think it’s just on a daily basis that the homeowner’s just collecting things and putting them in the yard,” Meyerhoff said.

The homeowner reportedly stays in an RV around the corner from the Fairfax District home, according to neighbors.

ABC7 spoke exclusively to the homeowner’s sister, who lives nearby, and was equally upset at the mess he’s left.

“I would hope that he would get rid of it,” she said. “Why else collect it?”

The homeowner’s sister, Leah, says she and her brother have a strained relationship, but it wasn’t always that way. She worries that without a long-term solution it’s just a matter of time before it goes back to the condition it’s in now.

“Since I bought it at one time and gave it to him, I would really like to get it back so I can fix it,” she said. “I can get it in good condition.”

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