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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

UC Fire Officials Inspect Off-Campus Rental Properties

CINCINNATI -- A new effort was unveiled Tuesday in Corryville to keep University of Cincinnati students safe from fires in off-campus housing.

The new effort is the creation of a safe student housing list, where students and parents can go to find out which landlords in the area have voluntarily agreed to fire inspections. The effort, in part, is in response to the deaths of two UC students in a New Year’s Day house fire.

Ellen Garner, 20, died Jan. 14, and Chad Kohls, 21, died Jan. 7 as a result of toxic smoke inhalation after they could not escape from an upper level house apartment on Digby Avenue in University Heights.

Both Garner's and Kohls’ parents appeared before Laure Quinlivan and the rest of Cincinnati’s Livable Communities Committee in April asking for more stringent safety requirements for student rentals around UC’s campus.

Ann Garner, Ellen’s mother, asked for two means of fire department-approved egress from any rental room, annual inspection of rental properties and a review of code and any changes made be named in honor of Ellen and Chad.

This inspection program meets one of Garner’s request.

On Tuesday, Uptown Properties stepped up to become the first rental property owner to undergo the fire inspections.

Quinlivan said she worked with the parents and the parents of other fire victims to set up the list.

The list also includes a request that landlords who get fire inspections include a tenant-landlord contract as part of all leases.

“It's very simple.  It's A-E-I-O-U.  A -- for photoelectric alarms.   E -- exits will be maintained.  I -- inspections of these properties have been done by the fire department.  O -- overcrowding will not be tolerated.  U -- it's understood and signed," said Quinlivan.

Although the program is voluntary, landlords with properties around UC’s main campus will sign up for safety to prevent future tragedy.

Source: ABC 9.



Earlier coverage:

CINCINNATI -- Fire officials at the University of Cincinnati inspected a number of off-campus rental properties.  The goal was to see if they qualify for the Safe Student Housing list.

Standards were drafted after a deadly fire last New Year's Day killed two students from the Miami Valley.

Chad Kohls and Ellen Garner died after they became trapped inside a home located off-campus.  An investigation determined there was no alternate escape route from the third floor where their bodies were found.

The city's Safe Student Housing list will inform students and parents which landlords are in compliance with the fire codes, hopefully preventing another tragedy.

"The window was blocked.  But if it wasn't blocked with that air conditioner and it did work, and they opened that window, it's a 42-foot drop down to a cement driveway.  That would have killed them too," said Ellen's mother, Ann.

Inspectors went door-to-door today, checking everything from smoke alarms to hallway emergency lights and stairwells.

 
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