Proposal in Keokuk would regulate outdoor wood furnace use - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Proposal in Keokuk would regulate outdoor wood furnace use

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KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

Some people in Keokuk say their neighbors are smoking them out with their outdoor wood furnaces.

One woman said the problem got so bad that she went to the city with their concerns.

"It takes your breath away. I don't know how to describe it. My eyes burn, my throat burns, I can't swallow."

This Keokuk resident, who said she was afraid to go on camera because she is feuding with her neighbor, describes how she feels when her neighbor is running his outdoor wood furnace next door.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion says wood furnaces have become popular because of the money people can save on their energy bills.

"Normally they're out in the country and that's where you see them, but now they are moving into towns, not just Keokuk but other towns," said Marion. 

Marion said the city received a complaint from a resident about the smoke from a neighbor's furnace and said that's what got the city council talking.

They're now proposing an ordinance that would force residents to increase the height of their flue, if neighbors complained of smoke.

Keokuk City Council Member John Helenthal, who also has an outdoor wood furnace, said he did have an incident with his neighbor over his furnace in the past.

"The air was real heavy. One of them real heavy days and it was blowing and it was blowing directly at my neighbors and with bad weather coming, I didn't give it a thought," said Helenthal. 

But Helenthal said he worked with his neighbors and solved the problem.

"I extended the flu up to about 42 feet off the pad. That for the most part does a real good job," said Helenthal.

 

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