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Fire marshal responds
Jul 06, 2012 | 499 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor:

It appears that Armando Musquez is attempting to gain business owner support by using this newspaper, and Facebook, as banners for his propaganda. It is sad that a person would call me deceitful for performing a contracted public service, while he is personally doing much worse. It has been made clear that he is canvassing businesses and misinformation is being presented. I have already contacted the state and several fire marshals and confirmed that, while unique, the manner in which I am doing my job is legitimate and legal.

Musquez and Commissioner Rodriguez seem to have read off each other’s notepad this week in an attempt to quote the information from the State Fire Marshal’s “Code”. That document is a policy that pertains to any inspector who works for the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Further, reading Local Government Code chapter 352.016(b), there is no “if requested” portion dealing with inspections for fire and life safety. LGC 352.016(b-1) deals with ‘plan reviews’ of a business which does state, “if requested”. A plan review is a design, or plan, reviewed prior to construction of a new building or an existing building to ensure it conforms to code. Typically, this will entail fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler systems and adequate exits.

The city and county appointed me as the fire marshal. And, as such, I am sole person authorized to perform these inspections, with the exception of the state fire marshal. There is no provision in the law allowing a business to choose another fire inspector. Fire marshal inspections do cover fire extinguishers and hood systems, which are already required to be inspected by law. Part of my inspection is to ensure that those inspections are being done correctly. Why would anyone get the work done if nobody ever came to check?

As stated before, which apparently Musquez chooses to ignore, I contact businesses in advance and schedule inspections at their convenience. The main items to be inspected and how much the fee will be are also discussed. All of the inspections done to date have been scheduled by the business owners, and nearly half have been invoiced.

With regard to the history of businesses burning; it may be time to look back into the history books a bit closer. Several within the past few years have experienced loss from fire. Just because a building does not completely burn to the ground does not mean there have been no fires.

Sadly, what Musquez and Commissioner Rodriguez are trying to do is hurt the community by trying to prevent businesses from complying with state and local standards. My purpose is to provide safety and security for all citizens and our firefighters. I meet people every day who support what I am here doing, including business owners, teachers, parents and politicians. That tells me I am helping my community.

Respectfully,

James Barrie

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