NEIGHBOURS have told of their horror at living next to a rat-infested hoarder house for over 20 years.
Stomach-churning photos from Runcorn, Merseyside, reveal the grim reality of hoarding – with piles of rotting food and dead rodents in the fireplace.
A cleaning firm tasked with sorting through the piles of filth described it as one of the worst cases they had ever seen.
Neighbour Stephen Dowd, 49, said: "It’s been unbelievable really, we had no idea what we were living next to.
"We came home off holiday and saw rats running round our garden, then we got in touch with environmental health who came and left rat poison, and then we realised it must have been coming from next door."
His wife Colette, 48 a former member of the armed forces, added: "We didn’t know the extent of it, there was no way of knowing they were living like that.
HOUSE STANK OF DEAD RATS
"We just kept saying there’s something not right here.
"We’ve been saying you can’t believe that someone could live like that. We’re still in shock, every day you’re finding something more shocking."
"We’ve spoke to the people who have lived here and we’re sorry for what’s happened.
"I think there could have been a stop to this, if there was somewhere they could have rung and asked for some sort of help."
A thick layer of grime can be seen on the walls, while the lacy white curtains had turned black from mould.
A dead rat lies curled up in the fireplace, with decade-old magazines strewn across the kitchen floor.
The tenants have been moved into a temporary house, and the council are in the process of finding them new accommodation.
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