CINCINNATI -- The City of Cincinnati is launching a new program to protect University of Cincinnati students from rental properties that violate fire codes.
The families and friends of UC students Chad Kohls and Ellen Garner pushed city leaders for the creation of the program.
The two students died from smoke inhalation on New Year's Day after blankets caught fire next to an electric space heat on the second floor of a rental house they were staying in near UC.
Investigators said toxic smoke rose to the third floor the pair was in. The two students were awakened by fire alarms but the only exit was an attic stairwell due to the window being blocked by an air conditioner.
UC officials said the new Cincinnati Safe Student Housing list will provide students and parents a link with the information about the fire inspections.
The first inspection will start Tuesday at an apartment building on Short Vine owned by Uptown Properties.
The Fire Prevention Bureau of the Cincinnati Fire Department will complete all of the inspections.
City officials said Dean Dennis, the parent of a daughter who died in a fire at Ohio State University in 2003, worked with city leaders and building and fire officials to create a tenant-landlord contract that will be attached to leases of inspected properties, as well.
The City Council passed a requirement for photoelectric smoke detectors in the spring and it is expected to pass more legislation in August to further increase fire safety laws.
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