Maine fire marshal cutting back on investigations

Posted Sept. 22, 2011, at 11:05 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Some Maine firefighters say they believe a new policy by the state Fire Marshal’s office is going to make their jobs more difficult.

Maine Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said fire investigators are now only sent to a fire scene outside regular business hours if the fire involves death, serious injury or suspicion of arson.

Morris told the Morning Sentinel the change is to reduce overtime expenses. He says the only difference is the office isn’t responding to “every fire in the state on an overtime basis.”

Waterville Fire Chief Dave LaFountain learned about the new rule after arriving on the scene of a fire that destroyed an apartment building.

Morris said the new policy will be soon outlined to fire chiefs in a letter.