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Bensonhurst Neighbors: Dead Fish Hanging On Roof Are Stinking Up Neighborhood

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Something fishy is going on in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn – and some residents say it stinks so much they have been calling 311 to complain.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported Friday, a line of half-wrapped dead fish is hanging on the roof of a home in the neighborhood, and many neighbors are not pleased.

"Sure it smells -- especially at that time when they hang it in the back, so I tell them all the time, but they don't listen to nobody," said neighbor Sal Felse.

CBS2's Gainer did not smell anything on Friday. But neighbors along the stretch of 64th Street said it is worse when the weather is warmer.

But the stench is not the biggest concern.

"Rodents and insects -- it's very unsanitary," one neighbor said.

"That side -- they used to get mice," another said. "I don't know if they still do."

Neighbors said the residents have been hanging fish on the roof for a long time. CBS2 caught up with the homeowner outside, who rents out the two apartments inside.

When asked if she would take the fish down, the woman said, "I don't know." But she does not speak much English, so CBS2 went to another neighbor's house to translate.

"She says she doesn't want to talk about it," the neighbor said.

When Gainer noted that people are worried about insects, rodents and sanitary conditions, the homeowner again said, "I don't know."

The renter who put the fish out was not home Friday. People in the neighborhood said it was not the first time they had seen such a thing in the area.

One woman who did not want to go on camera explained that it is an ancient way of drying the fish. And some people who passed by said it didn't really bother them.

"It's a little peculiar -- we don't think much of it, actually," said Dan Lin. "Most of the time, I just kind of pass by."

When asked if he smells anything walking by, neighbor Raymond Bong said, "Not at all."

But others have called 311 for help to no avail.

The fish did come down once the sun went down Friday. As to whether it would stay that way, neighbors said you'd best not hold your breath – or maybe you should.

CBS2 reached out to the city, and officials said there is nothing illegal about hanging fish in such a fashion. But they did say it would be an issue if it were attracting vermin.

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