Five children removed from ‘house of filth’ in Hazleton

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A Pennsylvania resident unknowingly revealed the deplorable conditions that five children were living in when he reported an unusual sight to police.

Five children between the ages of 3 and 13 lived in the home on North Poplar Street in Hazleton until Wednesday night. A man driving by the home saw a small child without clothes in the middle of the street, and called the police.

Julian Perez owns an auto repair garage across the street and saw the drama unfolding.

“Yesterday I see like two or three children walking to the street no clothes nothing,” Perez said. “It was cold. I don’t know where the mother or the father is..is she working?”  

Four boys and a girl lived in a second-floor apartment. Photographs were taken inside by a detective. Filth, trash, human feces, and insects were seen all over the apartment. Children and youth services agents placed the children in protective custody. 

 “You don’t have kids in that environment. Little kids, you know what I mean?” said Dave Moise, the owner of the building.

He told us he knew it was in bad shape and said, “I thought she cleaned it up. I offered to bring in two ladies to help her clean up the place. She told me she would clean it up.”

He insists he tried to keep the place clean and safe.  He said he is supposed to inspect the apartment once a month but she never left him in. The one time she did allow him to enter the home, Moise said “it was bad” but is “like 20 times worse now.”

The children are now in protective custody.  The investigation is on-going.  The City Code Department has condemned the apartment.

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