CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A state appeals court says keeping more than 100 tires on the roof violates the City of Cincinnati's fire code. It sided with city officials, who found the tires atop the building pictured above in August 2005 and ordered them removed. The owner did not comply. He was cited for failing to comply with a lawful order from the fire chief, then fought the municipal code as unconstitutional. Ohio's First District Court of Appeals ruled the potential hazard of burning tires was a legitimate governmental concern that outweighed the building owner's legal challenge. Judge Lee H. Hildebrandt Jr. wrote the unanimous decision of the three-judge panel:
"The city presented evidence that xxx's tire storage had created a dangerous fire hazard. Not only were the tires themselves a fire hazard in that a burning tire would generate more than twice the British thermal unit per pound than wood, but their combined weight could have caused a roof collapse that would have endangered responding firefighters. In addition, burning tires release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and requires specialized equipment and resources to extinguish."
Interestingly, the four-page ruling does not delve into why the tires were up on the roof at 2724 Woodburn Ave. in the East Walnut Hills neighborhood. So that remains a mystery for now. Hamilton County tax records show the building is described as a detached retail establishment that was built in 1927. It received a 30-year tax abatement in 2003. The owners are listed as living in Sacramento, Cal., and Oregon.