Volunteers help Corbin hoarder move into new home

CORBIN, Ky. (WKYT) - In May, Corbin leaders gave Lawrence Johnson 20 days to clean out his house, or he'd lose his property.

WKYT visited the site again to check up on the scientist.

"The city had got on to Mr Johnson about wanting to clean the place up. Mr. Johnson had become basically a hoarder," explained David Greene, a friend to Lawrence Johnson.

Johnson is the Manhattan Project scientist living in Corbin. He is from Hungary, and came to America when he was young. He went to Columbia University, and helped developed the first atomic bomb. He later taught at Union College. When he settled into his home in Corbin, possessions started piling up.

"It's gradually gotten worse over the years. It went from not having the horrid smell that we smelled and garbage accumulating. He didn't use to be this bad," said neighbor Jerry Engle, "it's rough when you can't let your own kids go out in their front yard to play because you're afraid of what might crawl out of there or what might fall on them."

About a dozen volunteers worked relentlessly the last few weeks to get the property cleaned up and the home removed.

"He has a level lot here with straw and grass planted. Everything has been accomplished that we set out to accomplish," said Greene.

Now Johnson lives in a new home, much cleaner and safer.

"I'm gonna continue to check up on him and try to see that everything is taken care of and those aspects," noted Greene.

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