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Elderly couple rescued from mountain of debris in Chicago apartment

By Gabriel Falcon, CNN
  • The couple, in their 70s, may have been trapped for weeks in their home, authorities say
  • The two are believed to be in their 70s, and are listed in serious condition, official says
  • Rodents had attacked them as they were stuck under the litter and clutter, official says

(CNN) -- An elderly couple who were trapped, possibly for weeks, under "floor-to-ceiling" piles of debris in their Chicago, Illinois, apartment were rescued Monday, authorities said.

"The debris included clothing, trash, papers, food, appliances, even tires," Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told CNN.

The husband and wife, who are believed to be in their 70s, both were listed in serious condition Tuesday at a hospital, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told CNN.

Rodents had attacked the couple, who were rendered immobile by the litter and clutter, Langford said.

"They were in it," Langford said. "I'm not sure how they got in it [but] they were in it and they couldn't get up and get out." He described the debris in the apartment as "front to back, floor to ceiling."

The victims were found after a "well visit" checking up on them at their second-floor residence, authorities said. Chicago Police spokesman Robert Perez said the couple hadn't been seen for a couple of weeks.

Perez told CNN that firefighters had to break down the apartment door to gain entry.

"When they got in there, it was just debris everywhere," he said, "sort of like a hoarder, that was the term that was being used."

"It's kind of an unbelievable sight," Langford said. "They've been in there for a long time and there's just a lot of stuff in there."

Authorities would not disclose the identity of the couple.