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Los Angeles ‘trash house’ owner seen outside as city cleans up property

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The owner of a Los Angeles home known as the “trash house” due to piles of garbage bags stacked on the property was seen outside the same day city crews began removing piles of refuse.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was in front of the home Wednesday and ordered that immediate action be taken against what the city called an “imminent threat to health and public safety.”

“This, to me, is a public health emergency,” Bass said. “This is a fire hazard and I worry about the individual there, this place catching fire, him losing his life, the quality of life that is compromised for these neighbors.”

Neighbors, who say they have had to deal with smells and rodents as a result of the mess for years, were finally relieved after media attention to the home on North Martel Avenue near Melrose Avenue resulted in something being done about the situation.

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LA man talks to authorities

Los Angeles “trash house” owner Raymond Gaon was seen outside on April 3, 2024. (FOX 11 Los Angles)

“It’s sad that it’s gotten this bad and it’s taken this long,” neighbor Charlie Topial told KTLA-TV. “I think it should have been taken care of years ago.”

Hours after Bass spoke, sanitation workers wearing coveralls and masks arrived and began loading the trash into trucks.

Upon removing the garbage bags, a number of items were revealed underneath, including multiple cars, local FOX11 reported.

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piles of filled trash bags outside home

Bags of trash were stacked outside the home in the affluent Fairfax District of Los Angeles. (KTTV)

Raymond Gaon has owned the Spanish-style two-bedroom home in the Fairfax District since the mid-1990s, public records obtained by the Los Angeles Times state. 

“He’s a super nice guy, and sweet,” developer Jonathan Fromen told the Times. Fromen built one home next to Gaon’s and is currently working on another one on that street, the Times reported.

The yard was cleaned up a bit in 2018 and 2019, after Gaon was charged with misdemeanors for not complying with a court order to clean up (the case was ultimately dismissed), the Times reported. Since then, the garbage began piling up again, neighbors told local media outlets. 

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aerial view of LA home with piles of trash on front lawn

An aerial view of the home on North Martel Avenue shows how much trash surrounded the home. (KTTV)

Since last July, the Department of Building and Safety has fielded more than a dozen complaints about the property, according to records obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The city issued an order to comply in November while they conducted an investigation.

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“I hope they get the homeowner some help for whatever this problem is because it’s mental,” neighbor Anthony Thurston told KTLA. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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