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Home condemned after officials discover filthy conditions

Emergency officials condemned a home after they found a disabled man living in filth.

"It's a situation where you can't get the door open enough for an adult male to get in," said Lexington Police spokesperson Sherelle Roberts.

Lexington Fire and Police crews were initially called to the house on Shawnee Avenue for the smell of gas. When they got there, investigators say they didn't find a leak, but they discover a big mess.

"One of the people who went inside said it looks like mountains of trash in some cases," said Roberts.

A woman lives in the home with her developmentally-disabled adult brother. Social workers were called to the scene to decide whether or not the man was in danger.

"Any time we encounter a situation that is potentially dangerous or harmful or deadly, and there's someone who does have special needs, or there is a child involved, we immediately get social services in to take a look," said Roberts.

Code enforcement workers condemned the house. Social workers haven't said if the man was removed from his sister's care, but fire officials told us they believed he'd stay with her.

People we talked to on Shawnee Avenue say this is just an unfortunate situation and they really feel for the people who live inside the house.

"To put someone out of their home is really terrible, especially if you have nowhere else to go," says Peggy Watts.

Watts lives across the street from the house and says the developmentally-disabled man inside has a habit of collecting things off the street.

"He has a habit of taking his grocery cart out and bringing back treasures. He used to do a lot of aluminum cans and things like that. I think he's more childlike and it's just maybe a hobby that's gone farther that it should have been," she says.

Now, after police say junk had overwhelmed the living space to the point they couldn't open the front door, Lexington Code Enforcement has condemned the house.

The man lives in the house with his sister, who looks after him. Watts says despite the mess in the house, that sister has done her best to take care of him.

"He is a man and she has a job and short of having a babysitter or a caretaker 24 hours a day I don't know what you could do," she says.


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