After two fires in less than a week at the Gateway Park Apartments last month in Bellevue, City Councilman Don Preister introduced an ordinance to prevent future disasters. His ordinance bans smoking at all apartment buildings and multi-family dwellings throughout the city.
Preister says, “I respect private property rights but in this case I think the public well-being and protecting our first responders overrides. I think when we send and expect first responders to rush into these situations and we have innocent property that is also being impacted, including their pets, they need to be looked out for too.”
The ordinance takes protecting all residents of buildings a step further. Preister says two of the primary causes of apartment fires are improperly distinguished cigarettes and grills. Charcoal grills are currently banned but this ordinance would include a ban on propane grills. Preister says, “It happens over and over again every year and we can at least raise awareness and educate people to be safer.”
A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on September 12th.