chester hoarder
The scene outside the Chester home of Jim Scantling, 63, who was found dead on Saturday Screengrab/ABC13

A hoarder weighing 500 pounds (227kg) has been found dead inside his home on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Officials say it took firefighters more than an hour to remove the body of 63-year-old Jim Scantling from his property in Chester because it contained so many belongings.

The discovery was made on Saturday afternoon (1 April) at his residence in West 22nd Street.

Police had been called to the property after the man's neighbours said they had not seen or heard from Scantling in days.

"I've been trying to reach him for a week. I've been calling him and his phone was turned off, so I knew something was the matter with him," friend Tanya Mills told local news channel ABC 13.

Officers broke the door down and found Scantling, who reportedly struggled with obesity and diabetes for many years, dead in an upstairs bedroom.

"He's had his medical issues. His family doesn't live too close to here. So keeping in touch with them I know was a little bit of a toll, a little taxing," said friend LeAnne Mangano.

Mills added: "That was my best friend and I'm gonna miss him a lot because we used to sit outside all the time. He used to make me laugh every day."

Officials are still investigating the cause of death and how long he had been dead inside his home.

Efforts are also being made to contact relatives living in York, Pennsylvania.