Authorities require hazmat suits to clean Shelby Township house littered with drugs, feces

By Nick Monacelli - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Authorities required protective gear to enter a foreclosed home in Shelby Township.

Authorities said nearly every inch of the inside of the home was covered in garbage and feces. People are required to put on hazmat suits in order to enter the home.

"It's the kind of smell and scenery that hits you right in the face when you walk in," said Shelby Township treasurer Michael Flynn. "There's feces all over the ground."

The house is located near the intersection of 21 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue. Macomb County foreclosed on the owners for not paying taxes, and the township had the opportunity to purchase it first. 

"We knew it would be in rough shape," Flynn said. "We didn't know in Shelby Township we'd have our own hoarder house."

The only areas of the home with visible floors are still covered in grime and dirt. Drugs were discovered abandoned on tables and rotting food was found in the refrigerator. The prior tenants reportedly used an old chimney stack for a toilet.

"What you have is a horrible smell from the animals, feces, garbage," Flynn said. "What's really disturbing was people were actually living there."

The Shelby Township Building Department said the home is technically safe and the structure can stand as long as it's cleaned out. The cleanup will be intense.

Full-suited hazmat crews will have the responsibility of somehow getting rid of all the waste inside and outside the home before it's sold.

Shelby Township bought it for $14,000.

"Even if a rehabber had to put $100,000 into it, it's still well worth it," Flynn said.

Officials with the township hope that with a lot of work, the house could eventually be a clean and safe home again.

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