Leadership

Fire Marshal Taboos Floating Fire Trap

Issue 15 and Volume 80.

Fire Marshal Taboos Floating Fire Trap How Department Won Legal Battle Precipitated by His Prohibiting Use of ooden Barge as Dance Hall—the Points Involved “When a fire official has knowledge that the lives of citizens are being endangered and starts out to protect them by enforcing the law, he fears neither damage suits, libels, injunctions, United States government officials, politics, or gentlemen with money who would sacrifice safety for dollars.” FIRE MARSHAL ROBERT L. LAING of the Seattle Fire Department marshalled a corps of fire inspectors on a dock in that city and forcibly prevented passengers from boarding the floating dance hall “Sea Lark,” because of the vessel’s unsafe condition. This action accurred on May 17, 1925, but the incident was not ended for two years; he was sued for libel and five thousand dollars damages; was cited in a show cause order praying for an injunction; but finally succeeded…

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