Fire Chief: Two Biloxi businesses must meet fire code

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Two new bars in downtown Biloxi that opened earlier this month do not meet the city's proper fire safety code requirements. Fire chief Joe Boney says those bars are Kress Live and Level.

Now the fire department says both businesses must meet code and each has already been given a deadline to do so. We found out what those issues were at Tuesday's Biloxi City Council meeting.

Biloxi council members say they're pleased with the energy that's been brought back to the Vieux Marche thanks to the opening of Kress Live and Level.

The only problem neither business is in full compliance with the city's fire code.

According to Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney, Kress Live was given a temporary certificate of occupancy or TCO and Level was also given one. However, Boney says the fire department has not yet signed off on the Level's certificate of occupancy. And that doesn't sit well with some on the council.

"What good does it do to have the fire department sign off on anything if your office is issuing certificate of occupancy without hearing from the fire department," said Biloxi councilman Paul Tisdale.

Boney says the owner of Level thought he was in compliance with the fire code.

"Level, they felt like they were in compliance and so it's hard for me to go in and strong arm them when they feel like they are in compliance. They thought they were in compliance. They got a certificate of occupancy from the city," said Boney.

The owner of Level says he didn't know of any problems until the city came to him at the last minute.

"They've come in three of four times and at the last minute the sprinkler system came up and like I say, we do have a certified system, but it's just the water flow system is an older system. We weren't actually aware of that at the time, so we're getting it addressed," said Level owner Jerry Seymour.

Both businesses have been given a deadline to meet the fire code requirements. Boney says his department will work with both businesses to get those requirements met soon.

Boney says if they don't meet fire code they won't' be able to operate. He says Kress Live needs to have a voice-activated evacuation system and Level has a fire suppression system that needs to meet code.

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