An explosive house fire that injured two Tempe firefighters last week was the third hoarding-involved fire in the past six months, prompting Valley fire officials to examine how they deal with the problem.
The most recent incident involved a home that was stuffed floor to ceiling with cardboard boxes and furniture. The fire started after the residents left a backyard barbecue unattended.
"Hoarding is something that we are seeing more and more frequently," said Martha Faleow, a Tempe crisis-intervention specialist. "We have several Tempe residents who we are trying to assist, but the problem is increasing."