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CLEVELAND — Cleveland firefighters encountered a very dangerous situation when they were called to battle quickly-spreading flames at what was described as a hoarder’s home.

“There was debris, items, stacked up in every room on both levels so making the entry was very, very difficult,” explained Larry Gray, the public information officer for the Cleveland Fire Department.

The home was located on West 83rd Street, just south of Madison.  It caught fire around 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters found heavy fire on the second floor and initially thought someone was inside.

They entered the home through the back of the second floor, but before long, the countless materials fueled the fire and it was too dangerous for firefighters to remain inside.

They successfully attacked the structure from the outside, a technique that is not common, but in this case was necessary.

Gray said a neighbor informed the fire department that the resident was not home at the time of the fire as originally thought.

“We’re very grateful that she was not in here, because if she was, it would have made this attack even more difficult.  There were smoke detectors in the home, but unfortunately none of them were working,” Gray said.

The cause and origin of the fire were not immediately known, and Gray said it would take a while to sort through the charred debris.