Thursday, December 1, 2005
That's Just Wrong: Fire Pit
Many South Floridian's have a fire pit in their backyard. But one local man is fired up after being told his pit is illegal. Not only does he say the inspector's just wrong, he thinks he has the paperwork to prove it.
WSVN--We may not get many nights where you need a back yard fire pit here in Florida.
James: "I've always had a fire pit."
But James Nordeman says there's nothing like seeing your worries go up in smoke.
James: "With two young girls and after a hard days work, we finally get them asleep at night, we can come out and enjoy the fire me and my wife."
They may enjoy it, but his backyard barbecue is stressing out his neighbor so much she even called the fire department.
James: "The fire department was here and the cops were here. And they didn't say anything about the fire except 'nice fire, have a good night'. And they went away."
James figured that was the end of it…until he lit the pit again.
James: "And every time I started another fire, I always thought it would be the end of it because the fire department was here, the police department was here. They said nice fire have a good night."
But you know what they say, where there's smoke, there's fire...or in this case, a fire inspector.
James: "The Fire Marshall came out the next day and served me with a citation stating that I was in violation of city ordinance."
Now, James says that's just wrong. He's read the state code and he believes his pit is legit.
James: "He even gave me the codes. And everything the codes say, I am in my right to have the fire anytime I want to. Anytime of day. Anytime of night."
When we did our homework, we found the fire inspector was right. In Broward County, where James lives, open burning of any kind is illegal. But in Dade, there are no restrictions.
James: "The Fire Marshall in Dade County has determined that those fire pits, we are going to treat like a BBQ grills."
James however thinks he may have found a loophole in the system. One inspector told him he can use his pit as long as it's for cooking... So now, that is what he does.
James: "I have to cook off of it now. So I have to have a marshmallow, a hot dog a baked bean. Anything of that nature. I have to have food for an open fire pit that is contained."
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