Watch CBS News

Local Hazmat Company Looks To Pay It Forward For Woman Who Served Community

FOLSOM (CBS13) - Heaps of trash from newspapers, empty food containers, feces -- and everything in between -- is packed into a Folsom home.

The 81-year-old woman named Gene who lives there is in disbelief that this is how she was living for the last 10 or so years.

"I cannot imagine how I let it get to that point," Gene said.

The former postal worker of 30 years in the industry has been through a lot and has helped others in the community, according to the CEO of 911 Hazmat Cleanup. She also made a hand-knitted hat for those at an area hospital prior to the pandemic

"She suffered from a stroke over 20 years ago that lead to deep depression and also chronic fatigue. So she keeps to herself," Kimberly Chatman, CEO of 911 Hazmat Cleanup, said.

Company 911 Hazmat Cleanup is now clearing Gene's house of a decade's worth of filth.

The company told CBS13 that a local plumber was called out to her home and saw how she was living. That led to her finding out who to call for help to clean up this hoarding house, which 911 Hazmat is doing -- free of charge.

"I cannot believe how nice these people are to do this. It is amazing to me that they're willing to do this," Gene said.

The amount of trash in Gene's home is called a level-three hoard. But the question is, what is that and how did it ever get this bad?

"A level three, that means we can still walk through the home," Chatman said. "There's trash. There's food. There's mold. There's rodent feces."

What gives a hoarding situation a particular level? It's determined on how biohazardous is the home, its livability, how many items are in the home, and if the hoard itself has forced someone out of their home.

These situations can develop from harsh experiences.

"There's some kind of trauma in their life. From that, it just gets overwhelming; where they can't help themselves, where they can't clean and they're ashamed," Chatman said.

Gene said that she is beyond grateful that someone is willing help her get our from underneath this troubling trash and into a cleaner life.

"If someone needs help, they need to ask. I didn't know how to ask. Luckily, these people found me. They're saving me," Gene said.

Gene will be staying with a neighbor until the cleaning of her home is completed.

911 Hazmat told CBS13 that it could take up to a month to restore Gene's home, depending on contractors' assessment of the damage.

The company is also asking for any other businesses to assist in the process to either donate their services or offer them at a discounted rate.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.