Everett Fire Chief Not Intoxicated At NYE Fire


Nearly 90 firefighters fought the 3-alarm fire.

The City of Everett today released the report of an investigation into allegations that Everett Fire Chief Murray Gordon was intoxicated while at the scene of the fatal fire at the Bluffs Apartments on New Year’s Eve. The City released the report of an outside attorney firm hired to look into the allegations. You can read that report here.

28 page Summit Law Group Investigation Results. 2016-02-03 DeHaan Letter

Here is a press release from the city and prepared statements from Chief Gordon and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson…

Statement from the City:
The City of Everett today released the results of an independent investigation into allegations that Everett Fire Chief Murray Gordon was under the influence of alcohol at the scene of a fatal apartment complex fire on Dec. 31, 2015. The investigator confirmed that Gordon, per his own admission, had consumed a glass of wine before learning of the fire and responding to the scene. However, the investigator determined that “there is no credible evidence that Chief Gordon responded to the scene under the influence of intoxicants or impaired by his consumption of intoxicants.” The City is taking no disciplinary action.

The City hired Summit Law Group to complete the investigation into the allegations, which were raised by three members of the department. Attorney Michael Bolasina interviewed 23 people, reviewed audiotapes of radio communications from the night of the fire, and reviewed relevant City policies. The investigation cost approximately $13,000.

Statement from Mayor Stephanson:
“I am pleased that the investigation has exonerated Chief Gordon, who has served the city of Everett with integrity and dedication for 39 years. I am grateful for his leadership and his commitment to keeping our community safe.”

Statement from Chief Gordon:
“I have consistently maintained that I was not impaired the evening of the Bluffs apartment fire and I am pleased that the investigation confirmed that. I am look forward to putting this behind us and focusing on the incredible work our department does every day.”

MyEverettNews.com has asked for comment from Local 46 about the results of the investigation. We received it at 6:00 PM and it follows below…

“Public employees should not drink on duty, period. On duty includes on call. Measuring an employee’s intoxication is not sufficient. Everett firefighters support and adhere to a policy of zero tolerance when it comes to the consumption of any alcohol or drugs while on the job. Such a policy should apply equally to the fire department’s top officers who are charged with on-call duties or responding to an active emergency. The public and the firefighters who serve and protect them expect nothing less.

We believe the mayor and fire chief have an opportunity to correct that problem. City leaders and administrators should be held to that same standard.”

Paul Gagnon, IAFF Local 46 President


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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5 Responses to “Everett Fire Chief Not Intoxicated At NYE Fire”

  1. mgordon Says:

    Mike must think that firefighters can call a time out and stop what they are doing at fires. Maybe they had to choose between saving lives and putting out a fire, or stopping everything to report that the chief smelled of booze. Hopefully Mike never has to make a choice like that. It might not work out so well for the person that needs his help.

  2. chief Says:

    The mayor wouldn’t want firefighters to pay for the investigation because then it wouldn’t have said what he wanted it to. The chief admitted to drinking and then driving a city vehicle. I guess some people think that is ok.

  3. chief Says:


  4. Mike Says:

    Something about this has bothered me from the start, like somebody had an ax to grind. Having read the entire investigation results I am going to conclude that both of the battalion chiefs and a firefighter or 2 have personal issues with the chief, and I agree with Anon above, they should have to pay the investigation fees. If any of these folks thought the chief was impaired that night they should have made it known at the scene and had the chief sobriety tested by one of the many police on scene. For them to wait until the next day to even say anything seems odd and unprofessional. My sister-in-law has been married to a fire fighter as long as I have known her, which is over 30 years, and I am friends with a couple of other fire fighters and I can say that whether they drink or not on their off time they all take their job very seriously.

  5. Anon Says:

    “The investigation cost approximately $13,000.”

    Money well spent, eye roll. Let’s hope the people who initially accused/reported him foot the bill.