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(A) The Marshal shall immediately investigate a fire occurring in which property is destroyed or injury to a person has occurred.
(B) The Marshal, at any time, may enter a building or premises at which a fire is in progress or has occurred and is under control of law enforcement or fire service officials to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of the fire. If control of the building or premises has been relinquished, entry must be in compliance with search and seizure law and applicable state/federal law.
(C) The Marshal shall conduct the investigation at the place of the fire and before an insured loss may be paid. The Marshal shall ascertain, if possible, whether the fire was caused intentionally, carelessly or accidentally. The Marshal shall make a written report of the investigation.
(D) If the Marshal believes that further investigation is necessary, the Marshal shall take sworn statements from persons with relevant information and shall have the statements put in writing. The Marshal or his or her designee may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents.
(E) If the Marshal believes there is sufficient evidence to charge a person with arson, attempted arson, conspiracy to commit fraud or another offense related to the matter under investigation, the Marshal shall give to the appropriate prosecuting attorney all evidence and relevant information that has been obtained, including the names of witnesses. The Marshal shall arrest the person if the person has not been arrested by some other authority. The Marshal shall assist in the prosecution of any complaint.
(F) The Marshal may conduct or direct the conduct of an investigation in private and may exclude from the place of the investigation persons not needed for the investigation. Witnesses may be separated from each other and not be allowed to communicate with other witnesses until after they have testified.
(G) The Marshal may elect to withhold from the public any testimony taken in an investigation under this section.
(H) If the Marshal is unable to make a required investigation, the Marshal may designate another person to make the investigation. This person will have the same authority in the investigation as this subchapter provides for the Marshal.
(Ord. 2011-07, passed 6-29-2011)