City of Gatesville

Spur Capital of Texas
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Chapter 9- Fire Protection and Prevention


Art. I. In General, Secs. 9-1--9-13 Art. II. Fire Marshal, Secs. 9-14--9-34 Art. III. Code, Sec. 9-35-- 9- 40

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

Sec. 9-1. Arson reward

(a) The city 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. This reward is a standing offer, and shall be paid out of the general fund of the city.

(b) The city, out of its general fund, will pay the reward upon evidence presented to the city council of that person or persons being convicted of having committed the crime of arson within the city limits. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 8,                State law reference-Crime of arson, Texas Penal Code 28.02.

Sec. 9-2. Driving over hose.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or in any way propel any vehicle on or across any hose belonging to the fire department of the city, except as directed by authorized officials of the city.

Sec. 9-3. Rural fire-fighting agreement.

In consideration of the county furnishing a truck, fuel and maintenance, for fighting rural fires, to be operated by personnel furnished by the city, which truck is stationed in the city, the city agrees as follows:

 (1) To be responsible for furnishing any available housing for such truck.

(2) To be responsible for furnishing personnel to operate such truck and the fighting of rural fires in an area, around the city, determined by the city volunteer fire department. (3) To submit all bills for servicing of such truck, including fuel, to the commissioner’s court.

Sec. 9-4 -- 9-13.   Reserved.

 

ARTICLE II. FIRE MARSHAL

Sec. 9-14. Office created; appointment.

The office of fire marshal is hereby created. Such office shall be independent of other city departments, the fire marshal reporting directly to the council. Such office shall be filled by appointment by the mayor, by and with the consent of the council. The fire marshal shall be properly qualified for the duties of his office, and shall be removed only for cause. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 76)

Sec. 9-15. Investigating fires, records.

                The fire marshal shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire occurring within the 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 (24) 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. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 77)

Sec. 9-16. Obtaining evidence-Taking testimony, arrest of offenders.

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, and shall furnish to the proper prosecuting attorney all 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. (Rev Cr, Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 78)

Sec. 9-17. Same-Summoning witnesses, subpoenas for books, etc.

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 said fire marshal is hereby authorized and empowered to administer oaths and affirmations to any persons appearing as witnesses before him. (Rev.Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch.7, Art. 79)

Sec. 9-18. Same-Prosecuting offending witnesses.

Any witness who refuses to be sworn, or refuses to appear of 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 said investigation or inquiry, after being summoned to give testimony in relation to any matter under investigation as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor; and it shall be the duty of the fire marshal to cause all such offenders to be prosecuted. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 80)

Sec. 9-19.   Same-Privacy, invoking rule.

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. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch.7 Art. 81)

Sec. 9-20.   Same-Right of entry.

The fire marshal shall have the authority at all times of 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. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch.7, Art. 82)

Sec. 9-21.   Inspection on complaint and periodically, appeal from orders, reports to state fire marshal.

The fire marshal, upon complaint of any person having an interest in any building or property adjacent and without any complaint, shall have the 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, combustibles, 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 remedies, and such order, shall be forthwith complied with by the owner or occupant of said building or premises; provided, however, if said owner or occupant deems himself aggrieved by such order, he may, within five (5) days, appeal to the council, which shall investigate the cause of the complaint and unless by its authority the order is revoked, such order shall remain in force and be forthwith complied with by said 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. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 83)

Sec. 9-22. Keeping dangerous premises.

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 as provided in section 1-6. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 84)

Sec. 9-23. Keeping dangerous appliances, etc.

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, 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 explosive, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, chemicals, vegetable products, ashes, combustibles, inflammable materials, refuse, or with any other condition 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 maintain or thereof, shall be punished as provided in section 1-6. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 85)

Sec. 9-24. Prosecution only after notice.

No prosecution shall be brought under sections 9-22 and 9-23 until the order provided for in section 9-21 is given, and the party notified shall fail or refuse to comply with the same. (Rev. Cr. Ords. 1926, Ch. 7, Art. 86)

Sec. 9-25--9-34. Reserved.

Sec. 9-35. International Fire Code adopted. (Ord. 2013-05, 4/23/13)

See Sec. 5-1. (Ord. 91-07, Sec. 1, 6-25-91)

ARTICLE III. CODE

Sec. 9-35. Adoption

                There is hereby adopted by the City for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire explosion, that certain code known as the International Fire Code 2012 edition, copyrighted by International Code Council  and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein from the date on which this section shall take effect, provisions thereof shall be controlling within the City Limits of the City of Gatesville, Texas, subject to all deletions, amendments and conflicting provisions contained in this Code of Ordinances. The International Fire  Code shall continue to be in force and effect in the City of Gatesville, Texas, even though the same is from time to time amended or new additions thereof be published by the International Code Council. (Ord. No. 2000-15 SEC 1 9/13/2005; Ord. No. 2013-05 SEC 1  4/23/13 )

Sec. 9-35.1. Additions, deletions and amendments.

FIRE ALARM REQUIREMENT

Fire alarm requirements are mandated by the National Electrical Code 2011.

 

Sec. 9-36. Enforcement.

                The fire prevention code hereby adopted shall be enforced by the fire chief of the city.

Sec. 9-37. Definition.

                Whenever the word “municipality” is used in the fire prevention code hereby adopted, it shall be held to mean this city.

Sec. 9-38. Modifications.

                The fire chief shall have power to modify any of the provisions of the fire prevention code hereby adopted upon application in writing by the owner or lessee, or his duly authorized agent, when there are practical difficulties in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the code, provided that the spirit of the code shall be observed, public safety secured, and substantial justice done. The particulars of such modification when granted or allowed and the decision of the fire chief thereon shall be entered upon the records of the department and a signed copy shall be furnished the applicant.

Sec. 9-39. Appeals.

                Whenever the fire chief shall disapprove an application or refuse to grant a permit applied for, or when it is claimed that the provisions of the code have been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, the applicant may appeal from the decision of the fire chief to the city council within thirty (30) days from the date of the decision appealed.

Sec. 9-40. Penalties.

                (a) Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of the fire prevention code hereby adopted or fail to comply therewith, or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order made there under, or who shall build in violation of any detailed statement of specifications or plans submitted and approved there under or any certificate or permit issued there under, and from which no appeal has been taken, or who shall fail to comply with such an order as affirmed or modified by the city council or by a court of competent jurisdiction, within the time fixed herein, shall severally for each such violation and noncompliance respectively, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in section 1-6 of this Code of Ordinances. The imposition of one penalty for any violation shall not excuse the violation or permit it to continue; and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations or defects within a reasonable time; and when not otherwise specified, each ten (10) days that prohibited conditions are maintained shall constitute a separate offense.

                (b)  The application of the above penalty shall not be held to prevent the enforced removal of prohibited conditions.

 

 

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