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With Hopes to Curb Couch Burning, Morgantown Passes Outdoor Furniture Ban

Morgantown Fires
AP Photo / The Dominion Post, Bob Gay

In response to the many street fires following big football and basketball games, Morgantown unanimously passed a law Tuesday, April 7, that bans upholstered furniture outdoors.

No one spoke during a public hearing about the new ordinance that would ban people living in city limits from having upholstered furniture in their yards or unenclosed porches. 


Morgantown City Manager Jeff Mikorski said the ban is an attempt to stem the number of fires that often spring up after West Virginia University games.


“Over the last 10 years, we’ve had over 3,000 street fires because of the quick ability to bring furniture from porches and put it into the streets and put them on fire,” he said.


Credit Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Morgantown City Council

  Morgantown City Council used the state’s Home Rule pilot program to develop the law. 


Mikorski said the city’s previous attempt to tie a ban on outdoor upholstered furniture to its health code was struck down by a judge. The new law amends the city’s property maintenance laws.


Mikorski said violators will receive a written warning before a citation is issued. The penalty is a fine of up to $500 dollars.

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