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W.Va. moves to curb furniture-burning

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.

Officials ordered West Virginia University students to remove couches and other flammable items from lawns and porches in hopes of putting a stop to the local tradition of setting celebratory fires after big football victories, the Charleston Daily Mail reported Thursday.

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"Listed materials found on Thursday morning will be revoked and taken to the city garage, where only the salvageable furniture will be held for five working days," read an email from the university to students.

The order from the city of Morgantown requires all residents to remove any furniture, construction materials, debris and other combustible materials from porches, balconies or lawns, according to the report.

Those who fail to comply will reportedly face fines from $100 to $1,000.

The No. 16 Mountaineers will host second-ranked LSU Saturday night, prompting authorities to issue the abatement order. The city issued the same order six years ago when West Virginia played Virginia Tech.

Some West Virginia students doubt the order will prevent people from carrying on the dangerous tradition.

"I just can't see it putting a stop to people's desire to burn," junior Mark Kookan told the Daily Mail. "It might hide things to burn, but I feel that if I see someone burning something, I want to be a part of that."

The city has also increased penalties for anyone caught setting such fires, making it a third or fourth-degree felony arson offense. Those convicted could face one to three years in jail, along with a mandatory $1,000 fine.

Tagged: Virginia, West Virginia

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