Subpoena Needed for Fire Marshal Report on Blaze at Clarion Co. Building

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Where there’s smoke there’s fire, but if you want a complete copy of the Pennsylvania Fire Marshal’s report you need to file a subpoena.

(Photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography.)

Asked Tuesday morning if the Clarion County Commissioners received a ruling from the fire marshal regarding the Sept. 5 fire of the court offices at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Liberty Street, the Commissioners announced they have not received a copy and state regulations now require filing a subpoena to get a copy of the official report.

Commissioners Ted Tharan, Wayne Brosius, and Ed Heasley said Tuesday morning that their insurance company, PCoRP, would need a copy of the report to pay the claims related to damage and cleanup costs.

PCoRP (The Pennsylvania Counties Risk Pool) was created by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) as a result of the “hard market” in liability insurance in the mid-1980s.

The PA State Fire Marshall is Trooper Kathleen Watters based out of the PSP Marienville Barracks.

“We have to subpoena it to get a copy of it,” said Tim Cochran, Clarion County Director of Asset Management. “I actually talked with her this morning and she said to have the person from CCAP contact her. She has ruled on it and it is not an active investigation.”

Clarion Fire Department Chief Doug Preston doesn’t even have a copy of it.

“I called up to get the County a copy of it and she said if I wanted one, they would have to subpoena it,” said Preston. “I really never needed one in the past. I talked with her and she said she would tell the Commissioners whatever they needed to know but to get the report you have to subpoena it.”

Commissioners asked Assistant Solicitor Christy Logue to talk with PCoRP officials and if needed, file a subpoena for a copy of the report.

In terms of a cause of the fire, Preston said it was pretty much what they thought it was the night of the 5 p.m. fire—people too close to the building smoking cigarettes.

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