Early Springfield Ordinances
From Directory of the City of Springfield
John W. Kees & Co., Springfield. 1852
For preventing and extinguishing fires within the city of Springfield.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Springfield, That said city council shall, annually, in the month of November, select six judicious and competent persons in said city as fire wardens, who shall hold their office for one year, and until their successors shall be appointed; which said fire wardens shall be furnished by the city council with suitable badges to be by said fire wardens worn during the time of fire, which badges shall be delivered by them to the city recorder at the expiration of their term of office.
Sec. 2. It shall be the duty of said fire wardens on every alram of fire, to repair to the same immediately, and to form lines and give such directons to the citizens present as may be necessary or advisable for extinguishing the same. And it shall be lawful for said fire wardens, or any of them, to order fences, lumber, or any other combustible matter to be removed, and for any three of them to order any house or other building to be pulled down, when in their opinion the public safety requires it to be done, in order to extinguish said fire, or arrest its progress; to order each able bodied man into the ranks, for the purpose of conveying water, or to perform such other services as may be necessary for the extinguishment of the fire, not attended with immediate personal danger; and every person who shall neglect or refuse to obey such lawful requisitions of said fire wardens or any of them, shall, upon conviction thereof before the mayor, pay a fine not exceeding five dollars and costs.
Sec. 3. And the said fire wardens, and each of them are hereby authorized to enter any house or building, lot, yard or premesis in this city in the day time on any week day, for the purpose of examining any fire-places, hearths, chimneys, stoves, stove-pipes, ovens, boilers, kettles or other apparatus or fixtures, which may be dangerous in causing or promoting fires; and when they shall be satisfied that any danger is likely to occur from any apparatus or fixtures aforesaid, of fires taking place, they or any two of them shall direct, in writing, the owner, agent or occupant of any premesis containing any of the dangers aforesaid, to remove, alter or amend the same, in such manner and within such time as they may deem reasonable and just. And any person or persons who shall resist the entrance of any of the fire wardens as aforesaid into any premises as aforesaid, or shall neglect or refuse to attend to the directions given for altering, amending or removing any of the dangers aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay for every such offense any sum not exceeding fifty dollars and costs, to be recovered by suit before the mayor. And the further sum of two dollars for every day he, she or they shall suffer the same to remain after the reasonable time as aforesaid, with costs of suit.
Sec. 4. It shall be the duty of all persons using a tight stove in any house, store, shop or other building within this city, to have a platform of stone, brick or earth, or plates of sheet iron or zinc under every such stove, extending at least six inches in every direction beyond that part of the lower plate that fronts the door of said stove; and that all stove pipes at their intersection with any floor, partition or side of a house, shall pass througha crock — or if through a window, it shall be encircled with tin; nor shall any stove pipe extend through the roof of any building; and all chimneys shall, in all cases, extend at least two feet and a half beyond the roof or side of the building through which it passes; and no person shall be permitted to place a chimney or stove-pipe through any building so as to project into the street. Any person offending against any of the provisions of this section shall be fined in any sum not exceeding twenty, nor less than one dollar with costs of suit, on conviction thereof before the mayor.
Sec. 5. It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to boil oil, varnish or any other dangerous or inflammatory matter or substance in this city, without first having the boiler placed in a furnace, and previous to its being used, such persons wishing to use the same must receive from one or more of the fire wardens of the ward or district in which the furnace is placed a certificate of safety from danger of communicating fire; any person offending against the provision of this section, shall, on conviction thereof before the mayor, be fined in any sum not exceeding fifty dollars with costs.
Sec. 6. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, within this city, to place, or keep any wheat, rye, oats, barley, hay, straw or fodder, in the sheaf, stack or pile, within fifty yards of any building, (except it be in a stable, barn or warehouse,) or in any house whatsoever where fire is used for any purpose.
Sec. 7. No person or persons being the occupant, or having the care or control of any store, dwelling-house, ware-house, cellar or other building, or any part thereof, or any other person, shall keep or place within the same any ashes or other article from which fire may originate, unless the same be placed in an iron, earthen, stone or other incombustible vessel, nor shall any person suffer any shavings, or other combustible materials to be placed or to accumulate in or about his, her or their shop, store or premesis; but he, she or they shall cause the same to be removed to some place of safety, as soon as they are thrown out of the same. Any person offending against any of the provisions of the two preceding sections, shall, on conviction thereof before the mayor, pay a fine not exceeding fifty dollars and costs.
Sec. 8. If any chimney within this city shall take fire by neglect of being properly cleansed, the owner or occupant of the building to which such chimney appertains, shall, upon conviction thereof before the mayor, forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding five dollars and costs; and no person shall set or put fire in any chimney in this city for the purpose of cleansing the same, except in the day time, nor then unless it is raining, or snow on the roofs of the houses, under penalty of five dollars, for every such offense, on conviction thereof before the mayor.
Sec. 9. It shall be the duty of the city marshal and his deputies, on every alarm of fire, to repair forthwith to the place where such fire may happen, for the preservation of the public peace, for the removal of all disorderly or suspicious persons, or others not usefully employed in the extinguishment of fires or the preservation of property. Any person or persons who shall resist the officers above named, or any other person called by them to their assistance, in the discharge of any of the duties hereby enjoined, shall, on conviction thereof before the mayor, pay a fine not exceeding fifty dollars, with costs of suit.
Sec. 10. No owner or occupant of any livery, or other stable within this city, nor any other person shall be allowed to use therein any lighted candle, or other light, except the same be secured within a tin, glass or horn lantern, under a penalty not exceeding ten dollars and costs, on conviction thereof before the mayor.
Sec. 11. It shall be the duty of the fire wardens, the city marshal and his deputies, when proper information is given to any one of them, of any offense against any of the provisions of this ordinance, to lodge complaints before the mayor for prosecution.
Sec. 12. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the publication thereof.
JAMES M. HUNT
Mayor of the city of Springfield
Passed November 27, 1850.