I-Team uncovers fire safety concerns on East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered fire safety concerns in one of Cleveland’s trendiest neighborhoods, East 4th Street downtown.

The fire marshal recently filed a violation notice against the landlord for the block as firefighters started wondering what if they had to fight a big fire there?

The street has exploded in popularity, and it’s often filled with people crowded shoulder-to-shoulder going to the bars and restaurants. The street is lined with patios where people eat outside, and it’s lined with apartments, too.

Firefighters took a new look at the block after a small fire there months ago. They became concerned because the street has become more and more congested with outdoor tables, hanging lights, and more.

Fire marshal Greg Lightcap said, “We need space to work. We need room to work.”

He says the landlord and businesses have agreed to a series of changes with their furniture on the street and the decorations. Most folks won’t even notice. But it could make a difference in tight quarters when seconds count.

Lightcap added, "It makes things a little faster for us. Where, if we do have an emergency, we do have to respond, we can operate a lot faster.”

People we met on East 4th are glad to see problems being addressed before something happens. Brianna McThaggart said, "Like last year with the Indians in the championship, it was like a stampede through here. Especially, a lot of these places have rooftop bars.”

The fire department says no penalty has been issued for the violation notice because the businesses are working to address the firefighter concerns.

Business people we talked to on the block said this shows good cooperation with the safety forces on a potentially dangerous matter.