SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– If you listen you can hear the sound of windows being boarded. If you were to ask those living nearby though, I’m sure they’d say the sound of power tools and plywood beats sirens any day.

You see, it was just a day before, when this same neighborhood was swarming with fire crews responding to the third house fire in a week credited to clutter.

Springfield Fire Marshall Bill Spence says those living in the kind of clutter often tied to a hoarding disorder are creating a dangerous environment.

“If, we do have a fire, it’s going to burn faster and quicker,” he says.

…environments not just dangerous to the homeowner, but also to first responders.

“It also creates a problem for our firefighters to get into the house to fight the fire, to even rescue a person,” Spence says.

Betsy Miller is the owner of Springfield’s 2 B Organized, a company dedicated to de-cluttering harmfully messy homes.

“That’s why people hoard. It’s something they can control,” Miller says. “The reality is, it can become very out of control very quickly.”

We spoke with Miller to find out how you can go about helping those living in this dangerous situation– whether that’s yourself or someone you know.

She and Spence both say the key to the problem is addressing it quickly, despite how hard that may be.

“First make contact and see if they just need some help,” Spence says.

“Maybe you get them some outside help and step out of the equation,” Miller says.

She says it’s also about recognizing the hoard as a symptom… and seeking help, before you need rescuing.

“Just like you’d ask for help with your taxes or a legal problem or a medical problem, there’s no reason you can’t ask for help with this problem,” she says.