YOU CAN smell it before you get to the door.
It wafts out of the windows, the gaps between the doors and the floor - the overpowering stench clings to the nostrils and is impossible to shake.
Another wave wafts out when the door is opened, and the gravity of what is inside the "house from hell" makes the blood boil, the tears well up and leaves you shocked and speechless.
Books lie strewn across the ground among bits of rubbish and the remains of other books have been used by rats to build their nests in desk drawers throughout the house.
The children's bathroom is a mess.
The basin is covered in leftover cereal, while the mud-stained bath is full of cigarette butts and a foul stench.
The rest of the McIlwraith St, Childers, house does not get any better, and the seriousness of the scene sinks in when you remember five young children lived in what should have been a home.
Property owner Viv Jocumsen kicked the previous tenants out last week after his first inspection in about eight months, and was mortified when he had a closer look earlier this week.
"I had an operation on my arm so I hadn't been out for a while," the retired mechanic said.
"They said it was immaculate but I told them I'd be there. When I arrived they were cleaning up but it was horrible.
"When I opened the front door it was black."
It wasn't the huge mess on the ground nor the mouldy walls that left the biggest impression on Mr Jocumsen - the sight of five small children was too much to take.
"One of the kids was trying to get around all of this mess," Mr Jocumsen said.
"It breaks your heart seeing kids like that. They shouldn't have to live like that."
Mr Jocumsen said he could probably get away with $30,000 to clean the house, but couldn't start the process until the insurance companies had been through.
But the cleanliness of the investment property he has owned for eight years was merely a sidenote to his main concern, which was the welfare of the children.
Neighbours said they regularly had to put up with loud music and screaming voices, in addition to the smell that invaded their home.
It is understood Child Safety Services were not contacted.
Childers officer-in-charge Sergeant Geoff Fay said he could not act earlier as nobody had reported incidents to police.
Sgt Fay said people could contact police directly, or phone Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.
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