Retired Central Texas fire marshal may not be replaced

(File)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Steve Casey served as Bell County fire marshal for 17 years, but with his retirement last January, the position still is, and may remain, unfilled.

“We (the Bell County Sheriff’s Department) (have) assumed responsibility for investigating suspected arson fires in the county, and for enforcing burn ban rules, should one be put into effect,” Chief Bell County Deputy Sheriff Chuck Cox said Friday.

Basically, that means deputies will investigate any suspected arson fire in the county outside of Killeen and Temple, both of which have a fire marshal’s office within their respective fire departments.

The sheriff’s office assumed the responsibility with Casey’s retirement, and “I don’t know if they (the commissioner’s court) plans to replace him,” Cox said.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said Friday he is unable to answer whether a new fire marshal will be named in the future.

“We’re working through the (proposed) county budget as we speak and we’ll know more in about 30- to 60-days,” Blackburn said Friday, speaking by telephone from his Belton office.

“We (the court) have multiple decisions to make and the fire marshal, along with several other positions, will be topics of discussion before we pass a budget in August,” Blackburn said.