FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Fort Myers woman accused of keeping her dead mother inside her home for more than a year is getting help from an unexpected source, in an effort to keep her home. But the help may be coming too late.
"We need help here. So please, come and help us," Jackie Stream said Wednesday.
Volunteers are begging for a hand in hauling out dozens of bags of trash. They are working to save the home of a complete stranger. Gail Andrew's house is just days from facing a wrecking ball. Investigators removed her mother's body, who died over a year ago, from the residence in June and deemed the decaying house an unsafe structure.
"I saw that it was a bigger mountain than one person could ever have a chance of moving, that she was totally defeated without people stepping in and helping," Kay Haering said.
Wednesday, volunteers gloved up to help save what's left of Andrew's longtime home...piling up dozens of bags of trash and helping her pack up years worth of possessions.
"It was a miracle. I would say my life changes on a daily basis, and it does. I couldn't believe that this person reached out to me, and complete stranger," Gail Andrews said Wednesday.
Despite the leg work, Lee County says it's not safe to even step foot inside the home, and warn volunteers are entering at their own risk. They say the house needs tens of thousands of dollars worth of work. They're pressing forward with plans to level the property within a month, regardless of Andrew's plea.
"Part of the house is obviously still here. Why tear it down? Why make me homeless?" Andrews asked.
Lee County plans to pick a contractor for the job on Friday. They say the house will be knocked down within a month.
Volunteers plan to continue cleaning the house for the remainder of the week. To help, you can call 574-2076.