On January 1, 2013 an 0ff-campus house caught fire, eventually killing two University of Cincinnati students. Twenty-year-old Ellen Garner, a 2010 graduate of Tippecanoe High School, and 21-year-old Chad Kohls, a 2009 graduate of Centerville High School, were killed when a space heater caught a blanket on fire. Fire investigators said later there were too many people sleeping in the Digby Avenue home than were allowed by the fire code.
UC is being pro-active to try and prevent future fires. Monday it is putting on a special fire safety program to educate students, faculty, and the community on ways to protect themselves and make sure their homes are up to code.
The program will feature personal testimony from the families of Kohls and Garner. Alvaro Llanos and Shawn Simons will speak. They survived a fatal fire at Seton Hall University in 2000. Their stories are documented in a film, After the Fire, which will be shown during the UC program.
This is the story of two critically burned survivors, Llanos and Simons, and their journey of forgiveness and resolve to live their best lives, despite the tragedy.
UC Assistant Dean of Students Daniel Cummins says, "Our effort to raise fire safety awareness among faculty, staff, and students, whether on and off campus, has generated a great deal of interest."
The program, free and open to the public, is at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday at the Great Hall of UC;s Tangeman University Center.
UC posts fire prevention information for students here.
The City of Cincinnati launched a Safe Student Housing Program to help students find rental properties that have passed city fire inspection. Here is the website that lists properties that have passed fire inspection.