Odd jobs: Trauma scene cleaner

CBC News Interactive featured the clean-up of an apartment in East Vancouver following the death of an occupant of this dwelling who unfortunately passed away alone. According to the B.C. Coroners Service, there were 2,424 sudden or unexpected fatalities in private residences throughout the province in 2012.

Kreklau, age 31, is the operations manager for 1st Trauma Scene Clean Up, one of a handful of Metro Vancouver companies that specializes in cleaning up crime scenes, unattended deaths, and industrial incidents. He oversees a group of approximately ten bioremediation technicians. According to Kreklau, in many of the cases he handles, the individual lacked the ability to adequately care for themselves due to a mental illness. He and his crew are there to assess and repair the damage caused by the previous inhabitants.

“It’s shocking when you first enter the field, but it doesn’t take long to determine if you have the personality to deal with it on a daily basis,” says Kreklau.

Curtis Kreklau from 1st Trauma Scene Clean Up
“It’s certainly not for everyone.”

Curtis Kreklau stands in the middle of his one-bedroom East Vancouver apartment, which is full of half-empty food containers, empty pill bottles, and broken furniture. There’s also the smell.

If Curtis Kreklau took off his mask, the smell would be like a strong version of a farmer’s field that has just been spread with manure. The cause is in the bedroom, where a body that had been dead for weeks was found.


Nearby, at the end of the hallway, there is a small jar of stale McDonald’s fries. There are pictures of happy family members on the wall and on the mantel.

To watch it, please click here:CBC News Interactive


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