UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Some residents living near the shuttered Seafood City supermarket began noticing a pungent odor recently. They shared their concerns with University City officials. Building inspectors pinpointed the stench to the market on Olive Boulevard and discovered thousands of pounds of fish were left behind.

“This is disgusting and irresponsible,” former customer Lolita Paiwonsky said.

After the discovery, city officials immediately contacted the California property owner about the public health hazard. The city hired a company to begin the cleanup, which has been underway for several days.

The property owner is paying for the cost of the cleanup, according to a spokesperson for University City. Some nearby residents say they not only noticed a smell but have seen an influx of insects as well.

“We had to set up traps,” University City resident Constanza Scharfenberg said.

She is pleased the cleanup work is underway and hopeful the smell will be gone for good. A city spokesperson said it’s unclear exactly how long it will take to finish the cleanup but estimates the effort will take a few weeks.

Seafood City has been closed since March. A visit by St. Louis County Health inspectors led to the closure. Officials say thousands of pounds of fish were left behind in freezers. There was no electricity to keep the freezers operating after the business closed.