Fire Prevention

Article 1. Fire Marshal

 

Section 7-1. Office created; appointment.

(a) The office of Fire Marshal is hereby created. Such office shall be independent of other City departments, the Fire Marshal reporting directly to the Mayor and City Council. Such office shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor, by and with the consent of the City Council. The Fire Marshal shall be properly qualified for the duties of his office, and shall be removed only for cause. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 1.)

 

Section 7-2. To investigate fires.

(a) The Fire Marshal shall investigate the cause, origin, and circumstances of every fire occurring within this City by which property has been destroyed or damaged, and shall especially make investigation as to whether such fire was the result of carelessness or design. Such investigation shall be begun within twenty-four hours, not including Sunday, of the occurrence of such fire. The Fire Marshal shall keep in his office a record of all fires, together with all facts, statistics, and circumstances, including the origin of the fires and the amount of the loss, which may be determined by the investigation required by this article. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 2.)

 

Section 7-3. May take testimony under oath, etc.

(a) The Fire Marshal, when in his opinion further investigation is necessary, shall take or cause to be taken the testimony, on oath, of all persons supposed to be cognizant of any facts or to have means of knowledge in relation to the matter under investigation, and shall cause the same to be reduced to writing; and if he shall be of the opinion that there is evidence sufficient to charge any person with the crime of arson, or with the attempt to commit the crime of arson, or of conspiracy to defraud, or criminal conduct in connection with such fire, he shall cause such person to be lawfully arrested and charged with such offense or either of them, and shall furnish to the proper prosecuting attorney all of such evidence, together with the names of witnesses and all of the information obtained by him, including a copy of all pertinent and material testimony taken in the case. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 3.)

 

Section 7-4. May summons witnesses, etc.

(a) The Fire Marshal shall have the power to summon witnesses before him to testify in relation to any matter, which is by the provisions of this article a subject of inquiry and investigation, and may require the production of any book, paper, or document deemed pertinent thereto. The Fire Marshal is hereby authorized and empowered to administer oaths and affirmations to any persons appearing as witnesses before him. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 4.)

 

Section 7-5. Refusal to testify.

 

(a) Any witness who refuses to be sworn, or who refuses to appear or testify, or who disobeys any lawful order of the Fire Marshal, or who fails or refuses to produce any book, paper, or document touching any matter under examination, or who is guilty of any contemptuous conduct during any of the proceedings of the Fire Marshal in the matter of the investigation or inquiry, after being summoned to give testimony in relation to any matter under investigation as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of a Class C misdemeanor; and it shall be the duty of the Fire Marshal to cause all such offenders to be prosecuted.. Any person being convicted of any such misdemeanor shall be fined in a sum not exceeding the maximum amount established by State law. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 5.)

 

Section 7-6. Investigations may be private.

(a) All investigations held by or under the direction of the Fire Marshal may, in his discretion, be private; and persons other than those required to be present may be excluded from the place where such investigation is held; and witnesses may be kept separate and apart from each other and not allowed to communicate with each other until they have been examined. (Ordinance of 4-1228, § 6.)

 

Section 7-7. May enter premises.

(a) The Fire Marshal shall have the authority at all times day or night, when necessary, in the performance of the duties imposed upon him by the provisions of this article, to enter upon and examine any building or premises where any fire has occurred and other buildings and premises adjoining or near the same, which authority shall be exercised only with reason and good discretion. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 7.)

 

Section 7-8. Shall inspect buildings; remedial action.

(a) The Fire Marshal, upon complaint of any person having an interest in any building or property adjacent and without complaint, shall have a right at all reasonable hours, for the purpose of examination, to enter into and upon all buildings and premises within the City; and it shall be his duty, monthly or more often, to enter upon and make or cause to be entered and made, a thorough examination of all mercantile, manufacturing, and public buildings, together with the premises belonging thereto. Whenever he shall find any building or other structure which, for want of repair, or by reason of age or dilapidated condition, or for any cause, is especially liable to fire, and which is so situated as to endanger other buildings or property, or so occupied that fire would endanger persons or property therein, and whenever he shall find an improper or dangerous arrangement of stoves, ranges, furnaces, or other heating appliances of any kind whatsoever, including chimneys, flues, and pipes with which the same may be connected, or a dangerous or unlawful storage of explosives, compounds, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, dangerous chemicals, vegetable products, ashes, combustible, inflammable, and refuse materials, or other conditions which may be dangerous in character or liable to cause or promote fire or create conditions dangerous to the firemen or occupants, he shall order the same to be removed or remedied; and such order shall be forthwith complied with by the owner or occupant of the building or premises. If the owner or occupant deems himself aggrieved by such order, he may, if he chooses, within five (5) days, appeal to the Mayor, who shall investigate the cause of the complaint, and unless by his authority the order is revoked, such order shall remain in force and be forthwith complied with by the owner or occupant. At the end of each month, the Fire Marshal shall report to the State Fire Marshal all existing hazardous conditions, together with separate report on each fire in the City during the month. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 8.)

 

Section 7-9. Maintaining buildings liable to fire; penalty.

(a) Any owner or occupant of a building or other structure or premises, who shall keep or maintain the same when, for want of repair, or by reason of age or dilapidated condition, or for any cause, it is especially liable to fire, and which is so situated as to endanger buildings or property of others, or is especially liable to fire, and which is so occupied that fire would endanger other persons or their property therein shall be punished by a fine not to exceed the maximum amount established by State law for a Class C Misdemeanor. (Amended Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 9.)

 

Section 7-10. Maintaining certain fire hazards; penalty.

(a) Any owner or occupant of any building or other structure or premises who shall keep or maintain the same with an improper arrangement of a stove, range, furnace, or other heating appliance of any kind whatever, including chimneys, flues, and pipes with which the same may be connected, so as to be dangerous in the matter of fire or health or safety of persons or property of others, or who shall keep or maintain any building, other structure, or premises with an improper arrangement of a lighting device or system, or with a storage of explosives, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, chemicals, vegetable products, ashes, combustibles, inflammable materials, refuse, or with any other conditions which shall be dangerous in character to the persons, health, or property of others, or which shall be dangerous in the matter of promoting, augmenting or causing fires, or which shall create conditions dangerous to firemen or occupants of such building, structure, or premises other than the maintainer thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed the maximum amount established by State law for a Class C Misdemeanor. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 10.)

 

Section 7-11. Order to be given before prosecution.

(a) No prosecution shall be brought under sections 7-9 and 7-10 of this article until the order provided for in section 7-8 is given and the party notified shall fail or refuse to comply with the same. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 11.)

 

Section 7-12. Recovery of penalties.

(a) The penalties provided for herein shall be recovered by the City in the same manner as provided by law for the enforcement of fines, forfeitures, and punishments for offenses against the City. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 12.)

 

Section 7-13. Each day’s maintenance a separate offense.

 

(a) Every day’s maintenance of any of the conditions prohibited in any of the foregoing sections shall be a distinct and separate offense. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 13.)

 

Section 7-14. Prosecutions to be as provided by law.

(a) All misdemeanors herein provided for shall be prosecuted, and all fines and forfeitures herein provided for, shall be recovered and enforced in the same manner as provided by law for the enforcement of fines, forfeitures, penalties, and punishments for offenses generally against the City. (Ordinance of 4-12-28, § 14.)

 

Article 2. Fireworks: Amended 3-3-03

 

Section 7-21. Unlawful to sell, buy, discharge.

(a) It shall hereafter be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, their agents or employees, to sell, buy, or discharge any fireworks at any place at any time within the corporate limits of the City of White Deer, Texas. It shall hereafter be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation, their agents or employees, to discharge any fireworks within the corporate limits of the City of White Deer, except, on the 4th of July, or other date as may from time to time be designated by the city council, after 6:00 PM, in an area as designated by the city Council of the City of White deer. (Ordinance of 6-7-65, § 1. and 14-83 of 2003)

 

Section 7-22. “Fireworks” defined.

(a) For the purposes of this article, the term “fireworks” shall be define as follows: Any device such as firecrackers, rockets, sparklers, etc., used to produce loud noises or brilliant lighting effects. (Ordinance of 6-7-65, § 2.)

 

Section 7-23. Penalty.

(a) Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed the maximum amount established by State law for a Class C Misdemeanor. (Ordinance of 6-7-65, § 3.)

 

Article 3. Arson Reward.

 

Section 7-31. Reward offered.

(a) The City of White Deer, Texas, hereby offers a reward of Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($250.00) for the arrest and conviction of any person or persons found guilty of committing the crime of arson within the corporate limits of the City of White Deer, Texas. This reward is a standing offer, and shall be paid out of the general fund of the City of White Deer, Texas. (Ordinance of 6-7-65, § 1.)