PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – A five-year-old calls 911 to report he and his siblings are scared and home alone. When police arrived they found the children's mother upstairs sleeping. They also found something else that led to the kids being removed from the home.
Police discovered what's being described as unsafe living conditions inside a Petersburg home in the 1700 block of Varina Avenue. Responders say there is an overwhelming amount of stuff all over the house and a strong odor of cat and dog urine.
"There's an abundance of items accumulated in the home. We're talking about clothing, baby items, and chairs. It's just so much that there are narrow passage ways in the house," said Petersburg Fire Chief, T.C. Hairston.
The Department of Social services was called in to help. The four young children were taken out of the house. Now, a safety assessment of the home is underway.
"When we do an assessment we make sure a child is safe. Sometimes we may recommend that the child stay with another relative or a neighbor while we look into the situation," said Kim Willis, Director at the Petersburg Department of Social Services.
Today, code enforcement issued the family a notice of hazard. It instructs them to clean up the inside of their home within 30 days. Then, there's the outside of the home -- specifically, the backyard. NBC12 obtained records which show the homeowners have been warned several times by the city to clear out the clutter in their yard.
"He's got a lot of stuff in the back. A lot of junk, but I've been seeing them put a lot of stuff on the street for pick-up," said one neighbor who ask we not reveal her identity.
Right now it's unclear when or if those four children will return home.