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CINCINNATI - A new effort was unveiled in Corryville Tuesday 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 located on Digby Avenue in University Heights.
Both Garner 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.
The inspection program unveiled 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.
After the first inspection of Uptown Properties for smoke detectors, clutter-free rooms and stairwells and extension cords being properly used.
And though the program is voluntary, the is landlords with properties around UC's main campus will sign up for safety to prevent future tragedy.
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