Parents face charges over hazardous home

An Altoona couple with two small children face criminal charges after their Willow Avenue home was found to be a health hazard, according to police.

Jennifer L. Drenning, 31, and Charles E. Raihl, 30, both of 126 E. Willow Ave., remain free pending a preliminary hearing Aug. 20 on child endangerment charges stemming from a visit by Altoona police July 3 to the couple’s home that they shared with their two children, ages 3 and 6.

Police were called to the home about 1 p.m. by the Altoona Fire Department, who were called because the home was struck by lightning. Inside, police described “copious amounts of dirty clothing scattered about” and a large amount of garbage piled 4 feet deep in the basement, according to court records.

Police said in the kitchen there was an open drain pipe on the second floor that drained onto the first-floor ceiling and created a large hole in one of the ceiling tiles. Several tiles were stained, wet and close to falling, police noted. The floor was covered with a sticky substance as well, police added.

The second floor was also piled with clothing, and in one bedroom a light switch with live wires dangled from the wall, while the hallway carpeting was “carmelized” from being so dirty, police point out in the criminal complaint.

On the third floor, police allegedly found several 2 liter bottles of what appeared to be urine.

The entire house “reeked of urine, feces and sewage,” police noted, and the garbage and clothes made movement around the home difficult.

Altoona Code Enforcement condemned the residence, police said.