HOUSTON Firefighters had a tough time battling a blaze at a home in southeast Houston Wednesday because the homeowner had too much clutter, according to the Houston Fire Department.

The fire, which broke out at a home in the 7000 block of Winfrey Drive around 9:40 a.m., sent plumes of black smoke into the sky.

HFD says the homeowner was cooking breakfast over an open flame in his backyard when he left and walked to the front of his house. The homeowner said he heard something pop, then realized his backyard was on fire.

A strong wind helped fuel the flames, but what made it even more difficult for firefighters, was the fact that the homeowner had so much stuff in and outside the house.

All of the metal materials in the backyard, they were red hot so we had to wet everything in the backyard down before we could even put our hands on it to move it, a fire official said. And it made it extremely dangerous for us trying to fight fire and heavy smoke and heat conditions, too.

Several neighbors said the city s code enforcement has been out to the home several times and hauled away plenty of trash before. They said the homeowner, however, just keeps collecting more.

Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to neighboring homes and no one was injured.

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