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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– Firefighters are investigating a house fire on Kennan Road.

At two o’clock Sunday afternoon the call came in that both smoke and flames were visible from the home. It took firefighters nearly an hour to get inside. The front entrance and the inside of the home were full of items, which blocked the entrance. Firefighters had to cut a hole in the outside wall of the home to get inside.

District Chief Scott Pettitt describes the homeowner as a hoarder. “The house was completely filled with items that had been stored from bottom to the ceiling. There was no way to make entereance to the house without having to crawl over materials,” Chief Pettitt says.

Chief Pettitt says because of the items filling the house it created safety issues for his firefighters. “We had to keep close control on them at all times to make sure they didn’t get into a situation where items would collapse on top of them or they would get lost. Even though it’s a small home it’s easy to get lost among all this material,” he says.

The homeowner tells us he’s lived in the home for about 40 years and has accumulated and filled his home with objects over those years.

He is the only person who lives in the house. He says he was outside cleaning up the yard when he went in for a drink, and that’s when he felt the heat from the fire.

He says he doesn’t know how the fire started. He tells us he didn’t have a heater on, and wasn’t cooking.

Neighbors say they called 911 when they saw smoke coming out of the windows. “We were standing out in front of his house and he was out there throwing trash, and we told him his house was smoking,” neighbor Kalii Holden says.

Other neighbors who have lived across from the house for years say they’ve never had an issue with the items filling the home and the yard.

Fire investigators are looking into what started the fire.

There are no reports of injuries.