UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – A biohazard and crime scene cleaning crew are continuing to remove thousands of pounds of rotting fish from the Seafood City market in University City. Residents began calling the city more than a week ago with complaints about a rotting stench in their neighborhood.

“It didn’t smell like fish. It smelled like a dead animal or maybe some mulch or manure. Just very offensive. I wasn’t quite sure why I was smelling it,” said Kameron Marzette.

Marzette lives behind the market and wasn’t surprised the health department shut down the business.

“I don’t know if they just weren’t cleaning their refrigerated cases and maybe that’s what I was smelling. But it wasn’t a place that I frequented. I went maybe twice, and it was a very offensive smell in the store,” she said.

County health inspectors ordered Seafood City to shut down in December 2022. They said the refrigerators storing food were set to unsafe temperatures. In March 2023, inspectors found the market was still open. Marzette said what surprised her was to hear the owner of Seafood City left an estimated 8,000 pounds of rotting seafood for her and her neighbors to smell.

University City officials said they hired BioOne to clear out the building when they found out about the rotting seafood. The property owner in California agreed to pay for the cleanup.

Marzette said she’s glad to see the city taking action.

“Our neighbors in U-City we’re very active, we’re very involved, and clearly I wasn’t the only one smelling something. So, I’m just glad we’re all banding together and putting pressure on,” she said.