FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) - With the warm weather, a lot of Hoosiers are breaking the law and don't even know it.
An I-Team 8 investigation showed the aftermath of a Fishers townhome fire started by a grill. It was one of three grill fires in a matter of days. State law allows grills in townhomes because you own them.
But they are not allowed in apartments.
"For a gas grill, you cannot even store the tank on the balcony," Fishers Fire Department Division Chief Mark Elder explained.
The Fishers Fire Department inspects each apartment complex yearly, handing a letter to every apartment manager detailing state law — no charcoal or gas grills on apartment balconies.
"Especially in an apartment complex because you have 12-16 other families that live in that building, so it is different," Elder said.
So I-Team 8 drove through apartment complexes. It wasn't hard to spot illegal grills on dozens of balconies.
"I have actually had the fire department come out a couple of times just from neighbors seeing the fire," said Kristie Davis, who lives in a Fishers apartment complex.
She now takes precautions with a fire extinguisher and never leaves the charcoal grill. She also keeps the grill closer to the brick wall, which is farther from the home.
"They said it's OK as long as it's not a gas grill," Davis said.
Fire departments admit it's a difficult law to enforce due to manpower. But a ticket could bring a court date and a fine up to $500.
Greg Hages and his wife Gloria just moved from Louisiana to a Fishers apartment and have had to adjust to the law.
"I'm a certified barbeque judge with Kansas City Barbeque Society, so I love to grill," Greg Hages said.
Living in an apartment, this barbeque enthusiast has found an alternative: an electric grill for the patio. He also has a garage for time she doesn't want to go electric.
"I pull my charcoal grill out of there, and the guy next door to me says he rented his garage just so he could grill with charcoal," Greg Hages said.
Firefighters say it's sad to see fires started by grills. Finding the residents don't have renters insurance makes it worse. They recommend checking your renters insurance policy or obtaining renters insurance.
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