ARTICLE 5.100 FIRE DEPARTMENT
Sec. 5.102 Officers and Their Election
The officers of the fire department shall consist of 2 captains
, 1st & 2nd assistant chief, secretary-treasurer, president, chaplain & Fire Chief. All officers of the fire department shall be elected by majority vote of all of the members of the fire department except that the assistant chiefs shall be elected by the members. The members of the fire department may, if they choose, elect additional assistant chiefs as they may provide in their by-laws. Officers are to be elected every two (2) years at the first meeting in September every odd year and must be approved by the city council and commissioned by the mayor.
Sec. 5.103 Duties of Officers
(a) The chief shall be the executive and commanding officer of the department and shall be responsible for the care and supervision of the property of the city and fire apparatus that shall come into his possession, and shall direct the preventing and fighting of fires and shall be considered the general commanding officer of the fire department with the usual duties incumbent upon a commanding officer or fire chief. During the fighting of fires, he shall have authority and it shall be his duty to issue orders and direct such proceedings and he shall have the power to control the crowds and person or persons around any fire, and may make or establish fire lines and call to his aid any officers of the city or commission any bystander to perform any duties that to him may seem necessary. The chief shall file annual bylaws with the city council in conjunction with the treasurer’s annual report.
(b) Assistant chiefs. The assistant chiefs shall see to the carrying out of the orders of the chief in their own company and in the absence of the chief act in his place and stead.
(c) Secretary-treasurer. The secretary-treasurer shall keep proper minutes of the meetings of the department; receive, receipt for, safely keep and properly disburse all funds coming into his hands under the by-laws of the organization. The treasurer shall give a bond in the sum of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00), the premium of which may be paid for out of the treasury of the fire department. The treasurer shall file an annual report with the city council, showing his receipts and disbursements.
(d) President. Presides over meetings and parliamentary procedures thereof.
(e) The city council may in its discretion appoint the fire chief as the city fire marshal, who shall hold his office at the will of the city council.
Sec. 5.104 Membership; Discipline; Dues and Fees
(a) The Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Officers and voting members shall determine who are to become members of the fire department controlled by the constitution and by-laws of the fire department and by the vote of its members as it may provide.
(b) Any member violating any orders of the chief or acting chief shall be subject to summary suspension by the chief or acting chief, subject to continued suspension or expulsion from the fire department according to the by-laws and constitution of the fire department. It shall be the duty of every officer and member to aid in the most efficient manner in fighting fires and the protection of property, and any member guilty of appropriating property not his own to his own use or in any manner destroying or concealing the same shall forfeit his right to further membership in the fire department.
(c) Membership dues and fees shall be such as are provided by the constitution and by-laws of the fire department and all of the fees, if any, and all donations made to the fire department as such shall be safely kept and expended only for strictly fire department activities and said sums shall not be distributed among the members of the fire department.
Sec. 5.105 Temporary Firemen Authorized
When a member of the Seymour volunteer fire department is called into the armed forces of the U.S. or is engaged in defense work which requires that he be absent from regular attendance of fire alarms during the present emergency, the members of the fire department by vote shall elect a temporary fireman to take the place of said absent member. If said absent member does not return to discharged from the armed forces of the U.S. or from a national defense project, he will be automatically dropped from the roll and forfeit all rights and privileges that he may have had as a member of the Seymour volunteer fire department, and the temporary member who has filled his place during his absence will automatically become a member of the fire department, his date of membership being the date on which he was voted a temporary member. (Seymour Code of Ordinances, Chapter 1, Article 7, Section 1-54)
Sec. 5.106 Fire Stations and Property
The city-owned and controlled fire stations shall be used for the housing and keeping of the fire fighting apparatus, meetings of the fire companies, and such continuous occupation by the designated members of the fire department for the safekeeping and protection of same as provided by the by-laws of the fire department, and at all times subject to the approval and supervision of the Fire Department under the consent of the city council. It shall be the duty of all officers and members of the fire department to use the highest degree of care for the preservation and protection of the city property that shall come into their possession or supervision. (1988 Seymour City Code, Chapter 9, Article 5, Section 9-75)
Sec. 5.107 Penalties Applied to the Public for Disobedience
Any person or persons who shall disobey any order of the fire chief or acting chief while going to or while fighting a fire or other duties connected therewith shall be subject to immediate arrest and may be fined in accordance with the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code.
The stipends for fire chief, officers and members of the fire department shall be fixed from time to time by the city council.
ARTICLE 5.200 ARSON REWARD
The City of Seymour hereby offers a reward of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) to anyone who furnishes information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons found guilty of arson committed within the corporate limits of the City of Seymour, Texas. This reward is a standing offer and shall be paid out of the general fund of the City of Seymour, Texas. (Ordinance 90-1 adopted 2/8/90)
ARTICLE 5.300 FALSE ALARMS UNLAWFUL
Any person who shall willfully and knowingly give a false fire alarm, or who shall willfully and knowingly give notice or cause notice to be given to the fire department of the city in any manner, of the existence of fire in the city when no fire in fact exists, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor per Texas Penal Code 42.06 and may be fined in accordance with the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code.
ARTICLE 5.400 UNLAWFUL TO INTERFERE WITH FIRE
STATION AND EQUIPMENT
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, except the city Firemen and city officials to go into the city fire station, whether the same be open or closed, and remain there for a period of over one minute, unless on official business with some officer of the fire department.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to mount upon the fire engine, or touch or handle any of the hose or tools belonging to the same, except the firemen, city officials, or persons employed to look after, repair or inspect the fire engine and equipment.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to park an automobile on the street in front of the fire station or to park a vehicle or car within a distance of five feet on either side of the front of the station.
(d) Any person or persons violating any part of this article shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined in accordance with the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code.
ARTICLE 5.500 FIRE PREVENTION CODE
Sec. 5.501 Adoption of Fire Prevention Code
There is hereby adopted by the city council for the purpose of prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire or explosion, that certain code known as the National Fire Prevention Association Fire Prevention Code thereof and the whole thereof, save and except such portions as are hereinafter deleted, modified or amended. Not less than one (1) copy of said code has been and is now filed in the office of the city secretary as a public record and duly authenticated by the city secretary and the same are hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein, and from the date on which this article shall take effect, the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the city limits. (1988 Seymour City Code, Chapter 9, Article 2, Section 9-11)
Sec. 5.502 Enforcement
The code hereby adopted shall be enforced by the chief of the fire department. (1988 Seymour City Code, Chapter 9, Article 2, Section 9-12)
Sec. 5.503 Definition
(a) Wherever the word “municipality” is used in the code hereby adopted, it shall be held to mean the City of Seymour, Texas. (1988 Seymour City Code, Chapter 9, Article 2, Section 9-13)
Sec. 5.504 Limits for Storage of Flammable Liquids
(a) Establishment of limits of districts in which storage of flammable liquids in outside aboveground tanks, bulk storage of liquefied petroleum gases and storage of explosives and blasting agents is to be restricted.
(b) The limits referred to in section 73 of the code hereby adopted in which storage of flammable liquids in outside aboveground tanks is prohibited, the limits referred to in section 103 of the code hereby adopted, in which bulk storage of liquefied petroleum gas is restricted, and the limits referred to in section 53b of the code hereby adopted, in which storage of explosives and blasting agents is prohibited, are hereby established as follows: Beginning at the intersection of Reiman and Oak Streets; thence east on Reiman Street to the center of the alley in Block 9 of the Original Townsite; thence south to Miller Street; thence east on Miller Street to Washington Street; thence north on Washington Street to the center of the alley in Block 2 of the Original Townsite; thence east to East Street; thence north on East Street to the center of the alley in Block 5 of the Original Townsite; thence west to the center of Block 5 of the Original Townsite; thence north to Nevada Street; thence west to Oak Street; thence south to the point of beginning.
Sec. 5.505 Modifications
The chief of the fire department shall have power to modify any of the provisions of the 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 modifications when granted or allowed and the decision of the chief of the fire department thereon shall be entered upon the records of the department and a signed copy shall be furnished the applicant
Sec. 5.506 Appeals
When it is claimed that the provisions of the code do not apply or that the true intent and meaning of the code have been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, an appeal to the chief of the fire department shall be made within thirty (30) days from the date of the compliant or citation is issued or filed.
Sec. 5.507 Penalties
(a) Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of the code hereby adopted or fail to comply therewith, or who shall violate or fail to comply with any order made thereunder, or who shall build in violation of any detailed statement of specifications or plans submitted and approved thereunder, or any certificate or permit issued thereunder, and from which no appeal has been taken, or who shall fail to comply with such an order as affirmed or modified by the fire inspector or by a court of competent jurisdiction, within the time fixed herein, shall severally for each and every such violation and noncompliance respectively, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine as provided in Section 1.106 of this code. The imposition of one penalty for any violation shall not excuse the violation nor 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.
ARTICLE 5.600 FIRE LIMITS*
Sec. 5.601 Fire Limits
The following shall be and are hereby declared to be the fire limits: Beginning at the intersections of Reiman and Oak Streets; thence east on Reiman Street to the center of the alley in Block 9 of the Original Townsite; thence south to Miller Street; thence east on Miller Street to Washington Street; thence north on Washington Street to the center of the alley in Block 2 of the Original Townsite; thence east to East Street; thence north on East Street to the center of the alley in Block 5 of the Original Townsite; thence west to the center of Block 5 of the Original Townsite; thence north to Nevada Street; thence west to Oak Street; thence south to the point of beginning.
Reserved Sec 5.602
Sec. 5.603 Construction Required Within the Fire Limits
(a) No building or structure of wooden, ironclad (whether on wood or metal supports), stucco, or veneer type construction, or any building whose walls contain wood supports, shall be permitted except as indicated in Section 5.604. No building shall hereafter be built, enlarged or altered, except in accordance with this article.
(b) The thickness of walls shall be not less than as given below:
(c) Brick walls shall be not less than twelve (12) inches thick, except that small one-story buildings with floor areas of seven hundred fifty (750) square feet or less may have walls eight (8) inches thick.
(d) Reinforced concrete walls may be three-fourths (3/4) of the thickness of brick walls, but in no case less than eight (8) inches.
(e) Hollow building tile may be used as filler walls provided such walls be supported on reinforced concrete beams and footings, and by adequate reinforced concrete or brick pillars or columns spaced not more than sixteen (16) feet apart; walls to be not less than twelve (12) inches thick. Small one-story buildings of less than five thousand (5,000) square feet floor area may have walls of eight (8) inch hollow building tile.
(f) Solid stone walls shall be four (4) inches thinner than brick walls for like construction.
(g) All exterior walls, party walls and division fire walls shall have parapets extending at least eighteen (18) inches above the roof, and said parapets shall be at least twelve (12) inches thick, except where eight (8) inch walls are permitted as above, in which case parapets may be eight (8) inches thick.
Sec. 5.604 Frame Building in Fire Limits
The following frame structures are permissible in the fire limits:
(1) Temporary one-story frame buildings for the use of builders.
(2) Wooden fences not over eight (8) feet high without roof or cover.
Sec. 5.605 Roofs
(a) All buildings or structures hereafter constructed in the fire limits shall have incombustible roof coverings.
(b) No roofing on an existing roof shall be renewed or repaired to a greater extent than ten percent (10%) of the roof surface, except in conformity with this article.
Sec. 5.606 Repairs and Additions
(a) Any existing building within the fire limits which may hereafter be damaged by fire, decay or otherwise, to an amount greater than fifty percent (50%) of its present value, exclusive of the foundation, shall not be repaired or rebuilt but shall be removed.
(b) Extensions, remodeling, or additions to existing buildings shall not be considered as repairs, and shall not be permitted except when conforming with Section 5.603 of this article.
Section 5.607 Reserved
Section 5.608 Reserved
ARTICLE 5.700 FIRE MARSHAL
Sec. 5.701 Office Created; Appointment; Removal
The office of fire marshal is hereby created. Such office shall be independent of other city departments, with 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 the office, and shall be removed only for cause. He shall receive a salary to be set by the city council. If the City Council chooses to not appoint a fire marshal locally, then the reigning State Fire Marshal in closest proximity to, or designated by regional divisions thereof, Seymour will be considered as the acting fire marshal for the City of Seymour.
Sec. 5.702 Responsibility to Investigate Fires, Keep 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 investigations as to whether such fire was the result of carelessness or design. Such investigation shall be begun within twenty-four (24) hours, not including Sundays, of the occurrence of such fire. The fire marshal shall keep in his office a record of 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.
Sec. 5.703 Testimony; Evidence of Arson to Prosecuting Attorney
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, defraud, or criminal conduct in connection with such fire, the fire marshal 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 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.
Sec. 5.704 Production of Evidence
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.
Sec. 5.705 Unlawful to Obstruct Investigations
Any witness who refuses to be sworn or who refuses to appear or testify or who disobeys any lawful order of said 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 investigations 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. Any person being convicted of any such misdemeanor shall be fined in accordance with the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code; providing, however, that any person so convicted shall have the right of appeal.
Sec. 5.706 Investigation May be in Private
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
Sec. 5.707 Access to Premises Required
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.
Sec. 5.708 Authority to Discover, Abate Fire Hazards; Appeals
The fire marshal, upon complaint of any person having an interest in any building or property adjacent, and without any 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 quarterly or more often, to enter upon and make, or cause to be entered upon 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 or repair or by reason of age or dilapidated conditions, or for any other 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 arrangement of lighting devices or systems, or a dangerous or unlawful storage of explosives, compounds, petroleum, gasoline, kerosene, dangerous chemicals, vegetable products, ashes, combustible or inflammable materials, refuse or with any 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 said building or premises. Provided, however, that if the said owner or occupant deems himself aggrieved by such order, he may, 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 said owner or occupant.
Sec. 5.709 Unlawful to Maintain Dilapidated Property Fire Hazards
Any owner or occupant of a building or other structure or premises, who shall keep or maintain the same when for want of repairs 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 in accordance with the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code.
Sec. 5.710 Dangerous Appurtenances Unlawful
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 whatsoever, 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 structures 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 person, 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 buildings, structure or premises other than the maintainer thereof, shall be punished by a fine in accordance with the general penalty provision found in Section 1.106 of this code.
Sec. 5.711 Due Notice Required
No prosecution shall be brought under Sections 5.709 and 5.710 of this article until the order provided for in Section 5.708 be given and the party notified shall fail or refuse to comply with the same.