Following the fiery Super Bowl celebrations in Oakland, the City Council has approved legislation that would fine Pittsburghers for keeping indoor furniture -- i.e., couches -- outdoors.
Channel 4 Action News' Bob Mayo reported that some of the inspiration for Councilman Bruce Kraus' legislation came in the wake of couch burnings after the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII in February.
At Wednesday's council meeting, Kraus played video from Ari Hait's report on the evening of the Steelers' big victory.
"Look at these pictures and ask me why we're even having this debate today. I want to know why we even held this for a week. I want to know why we needed a legal opinion. Rome is burning, and we just wasted a week," Kraus said.
Council approved an ordinance which levies fines of $200 to $500 for people who store upholstered furniture, like mattresses and couches, outside or on unenclosed porches.
Along with fire concerns, a draft of the legislation cites exterior storage of indoor furniture as impacting community health and property values.
"This is a residential street, and the street is ablaze," said Kraus, referencing the couch-burning video. "One change in the wind, one idiot that decides to place an accelerant on the wood of that porch, and that whole block of houses could go up. This was probably the most disturbing piece of video I have ever seen."
The legislation defines upholstered furniture as any furniture that contains attached filling material and is used or intended to be used for sitting, reclining or resting indoors.
The ordinance defined unenclosed as any front, side or back porch, patio, deck or balcony that is not closed in to shield it year-round from the elements.
"I can't understand even why we need a legal opinion to protect arsonists from setting neighborhoods ablaze," Kraus said.
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