An extreme hoarder in Canada who became pinned down when a large pile of his collected belongings tipped over spent two days trapped in his home until a concerned relative asked police officers to check in on him.

Firefighters from the Burnaby Fire Department were called to assist with the rescue, which took three hours of tunneling through "quite a mess."

"These fellows had to go in and try and find a problem there, and they had to dig through to find this fellow," Assistant Fire Chief Greg Mervin told the Toronto Star.

The 73-year-old homeowner identified only as "Dave" was eventually pulled out from under the debris and transported to a nearby hospital.

Doctors said that the loss of circulation to his legs may result in the amputation of his foot.

It could have been worse: The house had neither heat nor electricity, and cold British Columbia nights meant Dave had one or two more days at most.

Speaking with The Province, the city's mayor, Derek Corrigan, said bylaw officers were familiar with the man, and attempted at least two interventions before Sunday's incident.

The interventions failed because the officers weren't allowed in the home.

"We wouldn't enter a home without his permission," Corrigan said, adding that the city could clean up the mess and bill the homeowner, but is "very reluctant" to do so.

"You don't know why people keep things," he said. "One person's junk is another person's treasure. We wouldn't want to take something valuable that is important to them."

[H/T: Arbroath, image via TLC]