Fire pit controversy heating up in Bangor

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Controversy is heating up over the use of fire pits in Bangor, and a group of neighbors is getting the city involved. They've taken it up with city council, who has proposed a revision to the current ordinance that regulates open fires.

"Just can't be outside. It's not that we couldn't breathe, or coughing or anything like that. It's just a rancid smell," Tony Turcotte said.

People who live off Garland Street say they've been dealing with a lot of smoke coming from a neighbor's backyard fires for the past few summers, forcing them to close their windows and stay inside.

The man responsible for the fire says he doesn't see the problem.

"I'm not out having great big parties," he said. "I'm just out here cooking, enjoying myself. Have a little fire at night, me and my dog, my wife."

Bangor City Council has revised an ordinance to more strictly regulate open fires. If it passes, it would require renters to show written permission to have fires from their landlord. It would also regulate the type of wood burned and the size of the fire pit. Councilman Sprague says he's upset over this issue, because almost all people who have fire pits are responsible.

"It's frustrating the we have to have an ordinance like this, but I do understand the need. I just wish people would be more respectful of their neighbors," Sprague said.

City Council will be voting on the revised ordinance Monday evening at city hall.


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