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Controlled burn that wasn’t spurs new Marion city fire ordinance

How it started: The fire burns as workers clean.

How it’s going: The Marion VFD responds.

A controlled burn that wasn’t prompted Marion’s City Council to revise its city ordinances Tuesday night, March 7. The mayor and council saw the need to regulate burning of debris within the city limits first hand last Wednesday, March 2, when an out of control fire resulted in an emergency call to Marion’s Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire happened at the former Kwik-Way Grocery building on Washington Street.
The building has been undergoing renovations since changing hands at the beginning of the year, and workers could be seen burning demolition waste near the building in the days leading up to the emergency cal.
Marion VFD, assisted by cadets from Marion Military Institute’s firefighting program, responded to the call at around 10:30 that morning.
According to a post on the fire department’s Facebook account, the first responders’ quick work meant that there was no damage to the main building adjacent to the fire.
Up until that incident, there had been no specific regulations or fines in the city’s municipal code for controlled or supervised burning. The city’s Volunteer Fire Department sent the mayor and council a letter asking for them to take action on the subject.
City Clerk Laura Hinton read the proposed ordinance, which would require all proposed controlled burning conducted within the city limits to be approved by the Fire Chief beforehand.
Anyone found to be in violation of the ordinance by having an unpermitted fire could be fined $250.00.
If the city’s Volunteer Fire Department has to be called to respond an unpermitted fire, the fine goes up to $500.00.
Mayor Dexter Hinton asked the council for a motion to approve the proposed ordinance. Councilmember Joe Pearson made the motion, seconded by Councilmember Jeremy Arrington, to approve the proposed new ordinance. The motion carried by unanimous voice vote.
City Clerk Laura Hinton noted that, because this would be a new ordinance, the city would have to give two weeks notice by publication before adopting it as law.

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