Longview, TX -- Following a fire that killed 38 pets in an animal hospital, Longview, TX is pursuing fire code changes to businesses that house animals overnight.
The new fire code was approved last week by City Council. Businesses that house animals overnight will need to install fire detection and alarm systems that alert local fire departments of an activation. However, they will not need to install automatic fire sprinklers.
The original proposal required fire sprinklers, but was removed to speed an agreement on the proposal. The Council also agreed to move building inspection responsibilities from the Longview Fire Department to the city's Development Services Department.
Over twenty-five speakers weighed in on the fire code change. The new fire code will affect veterinarians, kennels, and any other business that houses animals overnight. Those businesses have 12 months to install detectors.
The fire code was changed eight months after a fire in Longview killed 38 pets when the Kimbrough Animal Hospital was destroyed in the blaze. Only two dogs survived the fire.
Pet owners weighed in on the discussion as well. Janet Erwin, who lost two dogs in the fire, said, "Don't let's be so naive to think it can never happen again in Longview, Texas. There should be a smoke and fire detection system in place in good working order."
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