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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - Parents of Fire Victims Push for Stronger Fire Safety Regulations
Wednesday, March 13 2013, 07:26 AM EDT
Parents of Fire Victims Push for Stronger Fire Safety Regulations
CINCINNATI -- The parents of Ellen Garner and Chad Kohls are fighting for stronger fire safety regulations for homes in the City of Cincinnati.

They're hoping they can turn their tragic loss into a way to save other kids' lives.

"I think about him every day, every minute, morning noon and night," said Ann Kohls, Chad's mother. "Chad was an awesome kid, son, he cared about people."

Chad and Ellen died from injuries they suffered in a fire at a home on Digby Avenue, near the University of Cincinnati campus.

The damage from the flames and toxic smoke are a reminder to the Garner's and the Kohls' that things need to change.

"There was no way out of the building," said Rod Garner, Ellen's father. "Once the fire started, the outcome was already predetermined, because there was no way out."

That's because Chad and Ellen were sleeping in the attic of the home that was converted into a room.

There was only one exit, a door.

"He opened the door, but on the other side was toxic smoke," said Kohls.

It's because of that, that Ann and Rod Garner, along with Ann Kohls sat before Cincinnati City Council.

They want an ordinance that would require all homes that rent rooms to have a second access, a second exit, in case of an emergency.

Also, an annual inspection by the local fire department to make sure the homes are safe to live in.

And third, review the current fire code to remove all exceptions.

"We ask that this new fire code ordinance bear Ellen and Chad's name," said Ann Garner, Ellen's mother. "So the city remembers that their death was effectively predetermined because there was no other way out."

Talking before council was just the first step to what they hope is a change in the fire ordinance.Parents of Fire Victims Push for Stronger Fire Safety Regulations

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