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Preventing fires where families are trapped by burglar bars is not easy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. ---  All it takes is a quick glance at the front the South Memphis home  where a family of nine was trapped in a fire and you'll know the love is there, balloons are everywhere.

The family was likely unable to get out of the home because of burglar bars on their windows.

“I don't think we ever had an exhaustive look at our fire codes, and that sort of thing said Mayor Jim Strickland.

Strickland said now is likely the time to look at the codes on the book.

Right now, if you put bars on new homes in Shelby County, you must put the kind that opens from the inside.

Most Memphis families are in older homes.  Is requiring the new style bars the answer?  Most people say no.

“You can make the toughest codes that you want, but they're already not being enforced,” said Brad Watkins of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center.

Windows that are painted shut, bars you can't move, plumbing, and electrical issues are everywhere, he said.

He stated low-income homes already have a laundry list of violations and landlords keep collecting rent.

He also pointed out in this week’s fire nine people were inside the home, likely because it's the only place they had to go.

“We have a large population who have nowhere to go and start staying with family,” he added.

Many agreed creating affordable housing is the solution

Lawmakers in Nashville are also talking about this horrible fire and taking steps to prevent it from happening again.

Sadly most feel the solution isn't as simple as upgrading a set of burglar bars.