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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Man Trapped by Debris in Home



    Man Trapped Under Garbage Pile In Home

    CENTERPORT, N.Y. -- A 64-year-old man trapped since Tuesday by a pile of garbage and appliances in his Long Island home was rescued early Saturday morning, authorities said.

    Charles Ruoff suffered dehydration, hypothermia and general weakness, Suffolk County police said. He was taken to the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport after he was found by police on the second floor of his house, a decrepit structure with major damage, including a wall destroyed by a fallen tree. A hospital spokesman refused to give Ruoff's condition.

    Centerport Fire Department Chief John Giacoppi said the house, which has been condemned, was extremely unsafe.

    He said Ruoff apparently was living among the pile of debris, which stood about 7 feet high and went from wall to wall in his second-floor bedroom, and became caught between the pile and a wall. The New York Post reported that the mountain was made up of bags of Ruoff's own feces, jars of urine and other debris.

    An anonymous caller phoned 911 around 3:20 a.m. Saturday and requested that police check on Ruoff because the man had not been seen for several days. Police entered the home and heard Ruoff calling for help in a weak voice.

    The fire department's technical rescue team had to help get Ruoff out.

  2. #2
    SewingDeb's Avatar
    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Good Lord!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Tallahassee, Florida
    An insanely messy house I can understand. Jars of urine, however, I am having trouble trying to figure out.
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    lala land
    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard
    An insanely messy house I can understand. Jars of urine, however, I am having trouble trying to figure out.
    My guess is that the house didn't have a working bathroom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    This reminds me of the Collyer (sp) brothers story.

    Here's a link w/more info and pictures:


    I used to think that people like this had lived through the depression and were afraid to throw stuff out. I know people that can't throw things out or give them away and they didn't go through the depression. Very interesting, and sad when it causes death or near-death.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    mabel- maybe there was no working bathroom- but if someone is going to collect bags of their own #2 and save jars of urine, the person most likely has a severe hoarding disorder (a form of OCD). one has to wonder why this poor guy was not checked on LONG before it came to this.... does he have no family, friends, social contacts? what about social services or some branch of the VA...? of course when people have this disorder they usually end up very cut off from people, don't want anyone in their home, etc.. it's a vicious circle. but still.
    i wonder if part of his mental condition came from PTSD from wartime.... at least now he will get help & be in a better situation, hopefully!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I agree. This man must have OC hoarding disorder. What a shame that he had no one to check on him. Another thought, even though the urine in a jar is a nasty thought, maybe he used the jar instead of urinatimg on the floor.

  8. #8
    hipmamajen's Avatar
    hipmamajen is offline I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft...
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Wow, that's bad...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Yeah, he's a hoarder. (Check the links out at the bottom of this first article, look at the "crazy E-bay mom" home!) Edmund Trebus sprang to my mind, as well as the Collyer brothers. It's thought to be related to OCD, but the medicines used to treat it aren't very effective. Behavior modification gives better results.

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