No, people aren’t hoarding small pieces of dry wood for starting a fire, but a person who is hoarding has definitely created a fire hazard. In this Omaha World Herald article, the dangers of hoarding and fire safety are examined. From the article:
When clutter becomes serious hoarding, though, dwellings become difficult to navigate. It raises mental health and public health issues and becomes a potential nightmare for firefighters.
“We do encounter hoarding on occasion,” Giles said, “and it may not be evident from the street,” where the fire crew assesses the location of the flames and rescue needs.
A fire blamed on faulty wiring killed three people in Fremont, Neb., last week. And clutter hampered firefighters from the moment they arrived, just minutes after receiving the alarm.
Hoarding has negative effects on a person’s emotional well-being, but it may also wind up having a very dire physical toll. Not only to the hoarder, but to firefighters trying to navigate through a maze of trash. The hoarded mess also adds fuel to the fire. Boxes stacked to the ceiling packed full of clothes aren’t exactly deterrents for a spreading inferno.
Succumbing to a fiery end in the middle of a hoarded mess of clutter, may be one of the worst ways to leave this world. If you know of anyone who has a hoarding problem, please try and get them professional psychological treatment. You may very well be saving their life.