Everett Fire Chief Under Investigation

January 11, 2016

Everett Fire, Everett Government

2 W Casino Fire NYE 2015 003The City of Everett has confirmed that the city is conducting an investigation into allegations that Everett Fire Chief Murray Gordon was not fit for duty on the night of the fatal fire at the Bluffs Apartments on New Year’s Eve.
Here is a statement provided this afternoon by Meghan Pembroke at the City of Everett…

The City on Jan. 5 received an allegation from an Everett Fire Department employee that Chief Gordon had alcohol on his breath and was impaired at the scene of the Bluffs fire on Dec. 31. The allegation is under investigation by the City’s Human Resources department; a third party has been hired to do the fact finding. Chief Gordon is not on leave.

As is typical for large fires, Chief Gordon’s role at the New Year’s Eve fire at the Bluffs apartment complex was to help pull in additional resources and allow the battalion chiefs to focus on operations. Upon arriving on scene, Chief Gordon requested assistance from the Red Cross in setting up the emergency shelter for displaced residents. He also asked Everett Transit to provide two buses for temporary shelter for displaced residents and first responders, and asked Public Works staff for assistance in increasing water pressure at the scene and providing sand to combat the icy conditions. He also worked with the police department to secure the scene and keep residents away from the danger zone.

Chief Gordon assumed command of the incident at approximately 9 p.m. to allow the battalion chiefs to focus on operations and the work of suppressing the fire. By 9:30 p.m. the fire was more under control and the battalion chief again assumed command of the overall incident. Chief Gordon at that point volunteered to purchase and distribute food for the firefighters and displaced residents, which he frequently does at fires.

Pembroke also supplied MyEverettNews.com a statement from Everett Fire Chief Murray Gordon:

I was not impaired the night of the Bluffs fire and I am confident that the investigation will confirm that. I understand that the City must take these allegations seriously, and I will fully cooperate with the investigation and any actions that the City takes as a result. I look forward to resolving this and continuing to focus on the good work that the Everett Fire Department does for our community on a daily basis.

MyEverettNews.com asked the Everett Firefighters Union for a statement on the investigation and received the following…

“We are in the business of protecting the public and the firefighters who put their lives on the line. Any time we are given cause for concern that the public’s safety and firefighter safety has potentially been compromised, we expect a full investigation and accountability.”

Paul Gagnon, President
Everett Firefighters Union

We’ll let you know of more information as details become available.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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