Email WV Code

Email: Chapter 8, Article 15, Section 1

§8-15-1. Power and authority of governing body with respect to fires.

The governing body of every municipality shall have plenary power and authority to provide for the prevention and extinguishment of fires and, for this purpose, it may, among other things, regulate how buildings shall be constructed, procure proper engines and implements, provide for the organization, equipment, and government of volunteer fire companies or of a paid fire department, prescribe the powers and duties of the companies or department, and of the several officers, provide for the appointment of officers to have command of firefighting, prescribe what their powers and duties shall be, and impose on those who fail or refuse to obey any lawful command of the officers any penalty which the governing body is authorized by law to impose for the violation of an ordinance. It may give authority to any the officer or officers to direct the pulling down or destroying of any fence, house, building, or other thing, if determined necessary to prevent the spreading of a fire. It may give authority to municipal fire marshals to (1) arrest any individual disobeying lawful orders at the scene of a fire, (2) arrest any individual who violates prohibitions against arson and explosives offenses, malicious burning, obstructing a fire marshal, or failing to obey lawful orders, (3) arrest without a warrant, if the unlawful conduct occurs in their presence, and (4) file criminal complaints with the municipal court or other appropriate judicial officer in order to obtain a warrant for the arrest and initiate a criminal matter: Provided, That any officer given this authority shall receive initial and annual training that complies with Law Enforcement Core Training Standards of the West Virginia State Fire Commission and the West Virginia State Fire Marshal.