Tamarac home where boy drowned fined for having unsecured pool

Kim Burgess says she warned city about former neighbor's property

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Christina Vazquez - Reporter

TAMARAC, Fla. - A woman said her repeated warnings to the city about an unsecured swimming pool in one Tamarac neighborhood wasn't enough to prevent a boy's death last week.

Kim Burgess told Local 10 News she repeatedly called and emailed Tamarac officials about the issue, but she wasn't able to prevent a 2-year-old boy from drowning Friday afternoon in his neighbor's pool on Northwest 68th Terrace.

Broward County property records show the home where the boy lived was purchased in April. The former homeowner was Burgess, who happens to be the former director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Burgess said she knew her neighbor's pool could be problematic and notified the city about it.

"They were warned," she told Local 10 News reporter Christina Vazquez. "I warned the city."

According to Tamarac code, pools are required to be secured by either a screened enclosure or a fence. The home where the boy drowned has neither.

The Florida Department of Health claims the state leads the nation in drowning deaths of children ages 1 to 4.

That's why Burgess was insistent that the city enforce its code.

"If the fence had been there, the baby would not have died," she said.

A Tamarac spokeswoman said the city did take action, but the homeowner failed to comply.

"The fence, however, has not been replaced and at a hearing on Jan. 18, 2019 (at which the homeowner did not appear), a special magistrate put fines into place at a rate of $150/day," city spokeswoman Elise Boston said.

That brings the total amount owed to $25,600, none of which has been paid.

Broward Sheriff's Office homicide detectives are investigating the death.

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