[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Vinland as §§ 5-1-1, 5-1-4, 5-1-5, 5-1-7 and 5-2-6, of the 2004 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fires and fire prevention — See Ch. 217.
The Town Board shall provide for fire protection for the Town of Vinland. Fire protection for the Town or any portion of the Town may be provided in any manner, including:
Establishing a Town fire department.
Joining with another town, village or city to establish a joint fire department. If the Town Board establishes a joint fire department with a village under § 61.65(2)(a)3, Wis. Stats., the Town Board shall create a joint Board of Fire Commissioners with the village under § 61.65(2)(b)2, Wis. Stats.
Contracting with any person.
Utilizing a fire company organized under Ch. 213, Wis. Stats.
The Town Board may provide for the equipping, staffing, housing and maintenance of fire protection services. The Town of Vinland has entered into a mutual aid agreement with area units of government to provide fire protection services.
Police authority at fires.
The Chief and assistants or officers in command of a fire department at any fire are hereby vested with full and complete authority at fires. Any officer of a fire department may cause the arrest of any person failing to give right-of-way to a fire department in responding to fires.
The Fire Chief may prescribe certain limits in the vicinity of any fire within which no persons excepting firefighters and law enforcement officers and those admitted by order of any officer of the department shall be permitted to come.
The Fire Chief shall have the power to cause the removal of any property whenever it shall become necessary for the preservation of such property from fire or to prevent the spreading of any fire. He shall have the power to cause the removal of all wires or other facilities and the turning off of all electricity or other services where the same impedes the work of the department during the progress of a fire.
Firefighters to have powers of traffic officers. Members of a fire department, when at the scene of a fire or other emergency or when fire department vehicles are upon the street pursuant to an emergency call, shall have the authority and duty of traffic officers to direct traffic, as conditions require, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter.
The Fire Chief and Assistant Chief of the Town of Vinland Fire Department shall be the Fire Inspectors of the Town of Vinland and shall have the power to appoint one or more Deputy Fire Inspectors, who shall perform all duties required of the Fire Inspectors by the laws of the state and rules of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, particularly § 101.14, Wis. Stats.
While acting as Fire Inspectors pursuant to § 101.14(2) Wis. Stats., the Fire Chief or any officers of the Fire Department designated by the Fire Chief shall have the right and authority to enter any building or upon any premises in the Town of Vinland at all reasonable hours for the purpose of making inspections or investigations, which under the provision of this Code he may deem necessary. Should the Fire Inspector find that any provision of this Code relating to fire hazards and/or life safety codes, as it relates to the prevention of fires, is being violated or that a fire hazard exists which should be eliminated, it shall be his/her duty to give such directions for the abatement of such conditions as he/she shall deem necessary and, if such directions be not complied with, to report such noncompliance to the Town Board for further action.
The Fire Chief of the Fire Department is required, by himself/herself or by officers or members of the Fire Department designated by him as Fire Inspectors, to inspect all buildings, premises and public thoroughfares, except the interiors of private dwellings, for the purpose of ascertaining and causing to be corrected any conditions liable to cause fire or any violation of any law or ordinance relating to fire hazard or to the prevention of fires. Such inspections shall be made at least once in six months in all of the territory served by the Fire Department and more often as the Chief of the Fire Department orders. Each six-month period shall begin on January 1 and July 1 of each year.
Written reports of inspections shall be made and kept on file in the office of the Chief of the Fire Department in the manner and form required by the Department of Safety and Professional Services. A copy of all such reports shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
Entering adjacent property. It shall be lawful for any firefighters while acting under the direction of a Fire Chief or any other officer in command to enter upon the premises adjacent to or in the vicinity of a building or other property then on fire for the purpose of extinguishing such fire, and in case any person shall hinder, resist or obstruct any firefighter in the discharge of his/her duty as is hereinbefore provided, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of resisting firefighters in the discharge of their duty.
Destruction of property to prevent the spread of fire. During the progress of any fire, a Fire Chief or his/her assistant shall have the power to order the removal or destruction of any property necessary to prevent the further spread of fire, provided that it is inevitable that, unless such property is removed, other property is in danger of being destroyed by fire.
A fire department serving the Town of Vinland shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of every fire occurring in the Town which is of suspicious nature or which involves loss of life or injury to persons or by which property has been destroyed or substantially damaged. Such investigations shall be begun immediately upon the occurrence of such a fire by the fire officer in whose district the fire occurs. If it appears that such fire is of suspicious origin, the Chief of the Fire Department shall take charge immediately of the physical evidence, shall notify the proper authorities designated by law to pursue the investigation of such matters and shall further cooperate with the authorities in the collection of evidence and in the prosecution of the case.
Appropriate law enforcement agencies, upon request of the Chief of the Fire Department, may assist in the investigation of any fire which in the opinion of the Chief of the Fire Department is of suspicious origin.