A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for areas west of Omaha until 11 p.m.; however, the metro area will likely have thunderstorms on and off throughout the overnight.
A spat of apartment fires in the metro has triggered a new marketing campaign to encourage more smoke free apartments. The Omaha and Ralston Fire Departments are supporting the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition initiative.
MOTAC will start by using a commercial to spread the word. The commercial will encourage apartment owners and managers to consider switching their properties to smoke free.
Ralston Fire Chief Kyle Ienn says more than a thousand people die every year from fires caused by smoking materials. Many of the victims are either children, neighbors, or friends of the smoker.
As Channel 6 News reported in October, the Douglas County Housing Authority has already signed on to the pledge. Starting in January 2012, smoking will be banned in all of its apartments. Smoking will be allowed in designated in outside areas of its properties.