TO ENFORCE PERSONAL LIABILITY FOR FIRES
J. A. Tracy, Iowa State Fire Marshal, will ask the State Legislature now in session to pass a law requiring a property owner whose carelessness is responsible for a fire to reimburse the city and neighboring property owners for the expense of the fire. He believes that such a law would encourage carefulness. Under the proposed law each city in the State at its own option could assess a property owner whose property was destroyed hv a fire caused by carelessness. The city would conduct the investigation to determine whether or not the property owner was responsible.
“When a man injures his neighbors or the city’s property in any other way he must stand the penalty,” says Marshal Tracy. “Why should it not be the same when the injury is by fire?”
The uniform arson law drafted by the fire marshals at their New York meeting will probably be adopted in Iowa. The new law will to a certain extent take the teeth out of the present law in this State, which is unusually strict, and will leave the penalty for arson to the discretion of tiio court rather than stipulating it in the law as at present.