Toy hoarder evicted over fire hazard

Posted at 10:51 AM, May 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-27 10:51:43-04

JACKSONVILLE, FL (WJXT/CNN) - A massive stuffed animal collection was deemed a fire hazard and the woman who owns them has to move out - toys in tow.

Nancy Duchovnay's home is filled with thousands of toys. So many, in fact, there's only one place to sit down and just a small pathway through the house.

The collection spreads through the living room, kitchen, bedroom and even the bathroom. Appliances and other household items are blocked because there are too many stuffed animals to access them.

"Changing the sheets is a major problem because I have to get everybody off," Duchovnay said.

But it's not just a random pile of fluff. Each item is organized from Muppets to dinosaurs to Tiggers.

And they're not just for her. Duchovnay, 73, sends toys in gift boxes to charities around the world.

"I'm the Toy Lady of Jacksonville," Duchovnay said. "Considering what's going on in the world today, I would rather have these funny characters smiling at me. I just think they're funny - they're cute."

Not everyone thinks it cute that the toys take up so much space in her apartment.

Following a surprise inspection, Duchovnay's landlord served her an eviction notice calling her stuffed menagerie a fire hazard.

"I'm devastated," Duchovnay said. "I don't want to leave. I love this. I don't bother anybody. I don't smoke, I don't cook and I don't have a live animal that can knock over a lamp."

She's lived in the apartment for 12 years and thinks there's something else behind the notice.

"They just want me out, and that was an excuse," Duchovnay said.

She now has to find another place to live and doesn't understand why her hobby has become such an issue.

"Wherever I'm moving," Duchovnay said, "they're coming with me."

WJXT attempted to contact the property manager, but did not get a response.

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