Fire Marshal of Maryland.

Fire Marshal of Maryland.

The bill before the Maryland Legislature providing for the creation and appointment of a State Fire Marshal is substantially as follows:

The Governor shall, by and with the consent and advice of the Senate, biennially appoint an officer to be known as the State Fire Marshal, who shall hold his office until his successor shall have been appointed and qualified. He shall be subject to removal for cause at any time by the Governor, and in the event of death, resignation, refusal to act or removal of said officer during a recess of the Legislature, the Governor shall appoint some one to fill said office for the unexpired term, and before entering upon the discharge of his duties said officer shall give bond for $5,000. It shall be the duty of the fire marshal to examine into the causes, circumstances and origin of all fires occurring within the State to which his attention may be called, and which in his judgment requires examination, and in making said examination the said fire marshal may, when in his judgment said proceedings are necessary, take the testimony on oath of all persons supposed to be cognizant of any fact or to have the means of knowledge in relation to the matters herein required to be examined and inquired into, and when in his judgment such examination discloses that the fire was of incendiary origin he may cause the supposed incendiary to be arrested and charged with the crime, and shall transmit a copy of the testimony so taken to the State’s attorney for the county or city wherein said fire occurred; and upon request of the owner or insurer of any property destroyed or injured by fire, the fire marshal shall make a written report to the person, acquainting him with the result of the examination made by him. and the fire marshal shall annually report to the Governor the result of all examinations made by him.

The fire marshal is to have power to subpuina witnesses and to compel their attendance to testify in relation to any matter which is by the provisions of this act a subject of inquiry and investigation by the tire marshal, and to administer oaths, and shall have power to cause to be produced before him such papers as he may require in making such examinations. False swearing in any proceeding aforesaid shall be deemed perjury and shall be punishable as such ; and the said fire marshal shall have authority at all times of the day and night, in the performance of the duties imposed by the provisions of this act, to enter upon and examine any building or premises where any fire shall have occurred, or any building adjacent to that in which the fire occurred, should he deem it necessary to the proper discharge of his duties. The entire expenses of the office shall not exceed $5,500 a year, which shall be paid out of the moneys paid into the State treasury by or for the insurance companies doing business in this State. And immediately upon the qualification of the fire marshal, as provided herein, the treasurer of the State shall, upon the warrant of the comptroller, pay to said fire marshal the sum of $2,750, and a like sum at the expiration of each succeeding period of six months, and out of the moneys thus by said fire marshal received he shall pay himself a salary of $2,500 per annum, payable in monthly installments ; and he shall provide himself a clerk, at a salary not exceeding $1,200 a year, also payable monthly. He shall also be allowed out of said moneys a sum not exceeding $500 a year for office rent, and may employ from time to time such other clerical and other assistants, and provide himself with such means of conveyance as in his judgment the necessities of the office may require ; and when in the proper discharge of his duties he is compelled to go outside the limits of the city of Baltimore he shall be allowed his traveling, hotel and other necessary expenses. He shall also provide himself with office fixtures and appliances, and at the end of the year, accounting from the date of his qualification as fire marshal, he shall make to the Comptroller, under oath, a full report of the receipts and disbursements of his office, and shall at the same time pay into the State treasury any balance of said sum of $5,500 that may remain unexpended.

The fire marshal shall have an office in the city of Baltimore, but in making examinations as to fires occurring outside of tincity he shall, when in his judgment the proper discharge of his duties require it, visit the county, town or city where such fire occurred. The fire marshal shall, at the request of the board of fire commissioners of the city of Baltimore, or the county commissioners of any county or the municipal authorities of any incorporated city or town in this State, make to them a written report of the examination made by him regarding any fire happening within their respective jurisdictions.

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