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Illegal rooftop grills point to sizzling business opportunity

When a North End blog posted photos documenting numerous violations of a city ban on rooftop grills, some residents surely sighed and wondered: Who called out the grill police?

Yet gas and charcoal grills on roofs do pose fire hazards, as the blog recently noted. Massachusetts, Boston, and countless other jurisdictions restrict their use because grill fires cause serious damage every year — about 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and $37 million in US residential property losses, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A 2010 Charlestown fire that destroyed two buildings is evidence that the risk grills pose in dense urban areas isn’t just theoretical.

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