LONDON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Neighbors of a British hoarder said they feared her dead when 22 tons of junk collapsed her house but it turned out she wasn't home at the time.
People living near the London home of Wendy Towers, 61, said they called authorities Tuesday when the 22 tons of junk Towers kept on the second floor of her home caused the house to cave in, the London Evening Standard reported Thursday.
"We thought she was dead. We had not seen her for a week, and she was not the type to go on holiday," said Rozmin Najak, 26, who lives across the street. "The ceiling had collapsed, there were sniffer dogs here looking for her and we had all started to believe the worst had happened and we should have done more to check on her. I just couldn't believe it when she walked up the road."
However, Najak and others said they were relieved when Towers arrived home from staying at a friend's house.
"I had no idea that she was hoarding so much stuff. But I'm just glad she is okay," Najak said.
Towers said she will treat the incident as a fresh beginning.
"I'm okay. I will go and stay with some friends in Snaresbrook. It will be a new start," she said.
London police and fire brigade officials confirmed they were called to the home Tuesday on a report of a person possibly being trapped in a collapsed home.
"We were called out. We sent in a sniffer dog to try to establish whether anyone was in the house. There were no positive signs," a fire brigade spokesman said.