Body uncovered in debris-filled home

San Francisco firefighters equipped with oxygen tanks recovered a body from a debris-filled home in San Francisco’s Richmond District on Saturday, four days after an investigation into the property began.

According to San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge, fire crews responded to 152 Fourth Ave. between Lake and California streets at about 6 p.m. to assist police in their investigation.

A 24-year-old neighbor who lives across the street, who declined to be named, said that she and her roommates hadn’t noticed anything too unusual about the property prior to police officers showing up last Tuesday. However, she did say that the blinds were always down and that they looked a bit moldy from the outside.

She said a woman who lives there was seen by neighbors as she walked her dog from time to time, but that they hadn’t seen the woman’s mother in years. They suspected the body might be that of the elderly mother. The identity of the body has not been released, according to the San Francisco medical examiner’s office.

According to the neighbor, at least one police officer has been stationed outside the house every day since Tuesday. She said on Friday, she saw crews in full yellow hazardous materials suits placing tarps over exterior parts of the small Victorian-style house.

San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said her department was made aware of a potential public health issue at the house last week and that they have had no previous history or contact with the house or its inhabitants before last week. Kagan said crews from The City’s Department of Public Works helped remove debris from the home.

Neighbors said a private debris collection company came in to assist city workers with the cleanup process and that a bad smell remains on that side of the street. Neighbors said exterminators have also been seen on the block.