An elderly Chicago couple was found, alive, buried beneath mounds of trash in their two-story home. The neighbors called police after they hadn't spotted the couple, both in their 70s, for days. Responding firefighters in Hazmat suits entered the home to find the couple covered in rotting food and other waste. The malnourished pair were rushed to a local hospital, where they were listed in critical condition. The house will likely be condemned, officials tell the Chicago Sun-Times.
"I can't believe how long we all waited before acting" said a neighbor who hadn't seen Jesse and Thelma Gaston outdoors for 3 weeks. Another neighbor said Thelma Gaston, a retired teacher, somehow became trapped in the rubbish, and her husband, a retired zoologist, also got caught when he tried to rescue her. Jesse Gaston was described as a "friendly" guy who wouldn't let anyone into his house. "We called him 'Fred Sanford' because he was always collecting junk," said a neighbor.