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watch, either by himself or by some person therefor by him appointed,

and to see that all persons so warned attend and perform their duty. Persons liable SECT. 5. Every male person of the age of eighteen years or upwards, to watch, &c.

being able of body, or having sufficient estate to hire a substitute, and R. S. 17, § 1.

not exempt, shall be liable to watch and ward in his city or town, and shall perform the duties, be subject to the liabilities, and have the

pow. ers of watchmen as the same are defined in this chapter.

SECT. 6. Justices of the peace, mayors, aldermen, selectmen, sheriffs, settled ministers of the gospel

, and persons living more than two miles from the place where such watch and ward is kept, shall be exempt. Penalty on per- Sect. 7. Persons liable to watch and ward, and without reasonable sons liable, &c.,

excuse neglecting or refusing to appear and do duty personally or by refusing, &c. R. S. 17, '$$ 9, 10. sufficient substitute, and constables or officers or members of the watch

refusing to execute and observe proper orders, shall forfeit ten dollars, to be recovered by complaint to the use of the commonwealth, or by action of tort to the use of the city or town.

Persons ex-
R. S. 17, § 2.

1839, 135. 1852, 312.

WATCH IN VILLAGES AND DISTRICTS. Watch districts Sect. 8. Watch districts may be established and organized in vil. lished in vil

lages containing not less than one thousand persons, for the protection lages.

property against fire, thieves, and robbers, and for keeping the streets 1855, 274, $$ 1,5.

quiet in the night time. Selectmen, &c., Sect. 9. The selectmen of a town, upon the application in writing to notify, meeti. of not less than seven freeholders, inhabitants of such village the limits


of which shall be defined in the application, requiring them to notify a ing, &c. 1855, 274, $ 2. meeting of the persons in such district qualified to vote in town affairs

, for considering the expediency of establishing such watch district, shall forthwith give notice to such voters, in the manner in which notice of town meetings is given, to assemble at some suitable place within the district for said purpose, the substance of which shall be expressed in the notification. If the selectmen refuse or neglect to give notice of such meeting, any justice of the peace in the county may so notify the

cation in writ


Proceedings SECT. 10. When such village belongs to two or more towns, the myphanted lasevis voters thereof may organize such district at a meeting called and notior more towns. fied as provided in the preceding section by any justice of the peace for 1855, 274, $ 3.

the county in which either town is situated, to whom application has been made by at least five voters of each town who are inhabitants of

such district. Clerk.

Sect. 11. If at any such meeting the voters present determine to 1855, 274, $$ 4,5. establish such district, a clerk shall be chosen, who shall be sworn to

keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings and to perform all duties of clerk of the district so long as he holds the office. He may be removed by the district, or may resign, and in case of a vacancy another may be chosen.

SECT. 12. A prudential committee of not less than three nor more

than five 1855, 274, $$ 5,6.

persons shall be chosen by ballot, and shall be sworn.

SECT. 13. The prudential committee shall annually issue their war. ings for choice rants to the clerk, requiring him to call a meeting in the month of 1855, 274, $ 9. March for the purpose of choosing officers. Such officers shall perform

the duties of their offices until others are chosen. Meetings, how Secr. 14. Meetings of the district shall be called by the clerk when 1855, 274, $$ 2, requested in writing by the prudential committee or seven voters of the 3, 7. district. He shall give notice thereof by posting written notifications

in at least six public places in the district, not less than seven days prior to the meeting, which notifications shall contain a brief statement of the purposes of the meeting. At each of the meetings a moderator shall be chosen, who shall have the powers" of the moderator of a town

Prudential committee.

Annual meet

raise money

amount to be

meeting. After the choice of a clerk he shall preside at subsequent meetings with like powers until a moderator is chosen.

Sect. 15. The district may, at meetings called for the purpose, vote Districts may to raise money for the payment of watchmen and other necessary ex

which shall be penses. The prudential committee shall have the superintendence and under charge control of the watchmen, have charge of and be responsible for the committee, &c. property employed, have the custody and management of the money 1855, 274, $Ś 1, 8. raised, expend the same for the purposes specified in the.votes of the district, be accountable to the district for the money received by them, and be liable to a suit for such money or other property of the district, in the name of the inhabitants thereof.

SECT. 16. The clerk shall certify to the assessors of the town all Clerk shall cersums of money voted to be raised, which shall be assessed and col- tify to assessors lected, by the officers of the town in the same manner that the town raised. taxes are assessed and collected, and be paid over to the treasurer, who 11 Met. 314. shall hold the same subject to the order of the prudential committee. The assessors, treasurer, and collector, of any town in which such district is organized shall have the powers and perform the duties, in reference to the assessment and collection of said taxes, which they have and perform in the assessment, collection, and abatement, of town taxes: but the sum so voted shall be assessed upon the property real and personal located within such district.

Sect. 17. When a district is composed of parts of two or more Duty of assess towns, the assessors of such towns shall transmit to the clerk of the ors, when disdistrict the amount of taxable property in such part of their respective in two or more towns as is within the limits of the district; the prudential committee 1865, 274, § 11. shall thereupon apportion the money voted to be raised by the district among the respective towns according to the returns thus transmitted, and the same shall be collected and held in the manner provided in the preceding section.

SECT. 18. When the freeholders of a territory adjoining a watch Territory district present to the clerk thereof a petition describing their territory triet, how 129

a disand requesting to be annexed to such district, the clerk shall give notice nexed. of the petition at the next annual meeting of the district, when by a

1855, 274, $ 12. vote of the meeting the inhabitants of such territory may be annexed to the district.

SECT. 19. Watch districts heretofore legally organized shall continue, Watch districts and be subject to the provisions of this chapter in relation to watch henetofore ordistricts,





10. Number of enginemen to each engine. 1. Firewards to be chosen, &c.

11. Axe-men, &c., to be appointed. 2. Penalty for not accepting or refusing. 12. Annual meeting of enginemen in May. 3. Firewards shall attend at fires.

Rules may be made and penalties an. 4. selectmen, &c., may order buildings to be nexed. pulled down, &c.

13. Meetings of engine companies. 5. Owners of buildings, &o., pulled down, to 14. Selectmen, &c., to appoint enginemen to be indemnified, except, &c.

private engines. 6. Firewards may command assistance. 15. If selectmen, &c., refuse, commissioners 7. may give orders to enginemen and oth- may appoint. ers, &c.

16. Enginemen to live near engines. & Embezzling, &c., of property at a fire to be 17. if negligent, may be discharged. deemed larceny.

18. compensation of.

19. Chief engineer, &c., to certify to assessorg. EXGINEMEN.

Assessors shall examine and certify listo. 9. Selectmen, &c., to appoint enginemen.

Treasurers shall pay. Remedy.



SECTION 20. Penalty for refusing certificate, &c., or 36. Who to vote at such meetings; clerk to be making false one.

chosen ; his duties. 21. Three preceding sections not to apply un- 37. At such meeting, fire department may be less adopted.

established. 22. Penalty for injuring fire engines.

38. Engineer, &c., how chosen.

39. Meetings of fire district, how called and FIRE DEPARTMENTS.

conducted. 23. Fire departments may be organized, &c. 40. Board of engineers to make rules and regu. 24. Engineers, selectmen to appoint, &c.

tions, appoint enginemen, &c. organization of.

41. Power of engineers, and liability of district 26.

to have powers of firewards; to appoint for their acts. enginemen, &c.

42. Privileges, &c.; compensation. 27. Organization of enginemen, &c., their by- 43. Money may be raised, to be under charge laws, &c.

of prudential committee, to be chosen, &c. 28. Privileges and duties of engineers, &c. 44. Assessment and collection of money voted 29. Engineers to have care of engines, and to be raised by fire district. other fire apparatus.

45. By-laws, imposing penalties, to be approved 30. may make rules, as to carrying fire, light- by superior court. ed matches, &c., in streets, &c.

46. Penalties, how recovered, &c.
31. Other general powers, as to preventing, 47. District may exclude, &c., particular per-
&c., fires.

sons or estates.
82. Future acts establishing fire departments, 48. Districts heretofore organized.

33. Fire departments in villages and districts. 49. Fire clubs not to be established, unless,
34. proceedings before establishment of.

&c. 35. Selectmen, or justice of the peace, may call 50. Penalty for joining without permission.

meeting of district, upon request of seven 51. Two preceding sections to be in force only, freeholders.



5 Cush. 269.


Firewards, to

SECTION 1. The inhabitants of each town at their annual meeting, be chosen, &c. R. S. 18, $ 1.

and the city council of each city, may elect such number of suitable

persons to be firewards therein as they deem necessary. Penalty for not SECT. 2. Each person elected shall forthwith have notice thereof, accepting or and within three days after such notice shall enter his acceptance or refusing. R. S. 18, $ 2. refusal of the office with the town clerk; whoever after such notice

neglects so to enter his acceptance or refusal shall, unless excused by the city or town, forfeit ten dollars, and another may be elected in his

place. Firewards shall SECT. 3. When a fire breaks out in any place, the firewards shall attend at fires. immediately repair thereto, and shall carry a suitable staff or badge of

their office. selectmen,

Sect. 4. The firewards or any three of them present at a place in &c:; may order immediate danger from a fire and where no firewards are appointed, the pulled down, selectmen or mayor and aldermen present, or in their absence two or R. S. 18, $ 4.

more of the civil officers present, or in their absence two or more of the chief military officers of the place present, may direct any house or building to be pulled down or demolished when they judge the same to

be necessary in order to prevent the spreading of the fire. Owners to be SECT. 5. If such pulling down or demolishing of a house or building

indemnificd, ex- is the means of stopping the fire, or if the fire stops before it comes to allen 507 R. S. 18, $ 7. the same, the owner shall be entitled to recover a reasonable compensa

tion from the city or town; but when such building is that in which

the fire first broke out, the owner shall receive no compensation. Firewards may SECT. 6. Such firewards or other officers may during the continuance

of a fire require assistance for extinguishing the same and removing furR. S. 18, $ 5. niture, goods, or merchandise, from a building on fire or in danger

thereof; and may appoint guards to secure the same. They may also require assistance for pulling down or demolishing any house or building

when they judge it necessary; and may suppress all tumults and disormay give or- ders at such fire. ders to enginemen and others, Sect. 7. They may direct the stations and operations of the engineK. S. 18, $ 6.

men with their engines, and of all other persons for the purpose of

8 Met. 462.
5 Cush. 269.
11 Cush. 433.

command as-

extinguishing the fire; and whoever refuses or neglects to obey such orders shall forfeit for each offence a sum not exceeding ten dollars.

SECT. 8. Whoever purloins, embezzles, conveys away, or conceals, Embezzling, any furniture, goods or chattels, merchandise or effects, of persons whose locomotive proper houses or buildings are on fire or endangered thereby, and does not be deemed lar within two days restore or give notice thereof to the owner if known, R. &. 18; $8 or if unknown, to one of the firewards, mayor and aldermen, or selectmen, of the place, shall be deemed guilty of larceny.

ENGINEMEN. SECT. 9. The mayor and aldermen or selectmen of places provided Selectmen, &c., with fire engines may appoint suitable persons for enginemen; who do neppeint enshall continue in office during the pleasure of the authority appointing K. S. 18, s. 9. them.

SECT. 10. Such engines shall be manned as follows: each common Number of enengine, or suction engine when used as a common engine only, with not ginemen to each exceeding thirty men; each suction engine, when used as such, with not R. S. 18, 5.10. exceeding forty-five men: but this provision shall not affect the present right of any place to have a greater number of enginemen appointed than is herein prescribed.

Sect. 11. The mayor and aldermen or selectmen may select from the Axe-men, &c., enginemen any number for each engine, who shall under the direction to be appointed. of the firewards attend fires with axes, fire-hooks, fire-sails, and ladders, and do such further duty as the mayor and aldermen or selectmen shall from time to time prescribe; and they shall be entitled to all exemptions and privileges of other enginemen.

SECT. 12. Each company of enginemen so appointed shall meet Annual meetannually in May and choose a foreman,' or director, and a clerk, and interno in engineestablish such rules and regulations not repugnant to the laws of the Rules may be commonwealth respecting their duty as enginemen, as shall be approved ties annexed. by the mayor and aldermen or selectmen; and they shall annex penal- R. S. 18, $ 12. ties thereto not exceeding ten dollars, which may be recovered by the the clerk in an action of tort.

Sect. 13. Such companies shall meet together once a month, and Meetings of enoftener if necessary, for the purpose of examining the engine and its fine companies. appendages and seeing that they are in good repair and ready for use. They shall by night and day, under the direction of the firewards, use their best endeavors to extinguish any fire that may happen in their city or town or the vicinity thereof.

SECT. 14. When the proprietors of an engine apply to the mayor and Selectmen, &c., aldermen or selectmen of a city or town in which the engine is owned,

ginemen to prisetting forth that they desire that the same should be employed for the rate engines. benefit of such place, the mayor and aldermen or selectmen may appoint enginemen in the same manner, with the same privileges, and subject to the same regulations, as if the engine belonged to the place; and if the proprietors do not agree as to where the engine shall be kept, the mayor and aldermen or selectmen shall determine

the same. SECT. 15. If the mayor and aldermen or selectmen upon such appli- If selectmen, cation refuse or delay for the space of fourteen days so to appoint en- &om mension ginemen, the proprietors may apply therefor in writing to the county may appoint.

R: S. 18, $ 15. commissioners, giving notice in writing to such mayor and aldermen or selectmen seven days at least before the sitting of the commissioners, that they may appear and show cause, if any they have, why such enginemen should not be appointed; and if sufficient cause is not shown by them the commissioners may appoint the number of enginemen prescribed in section ten.

Enginemen to SECT. 16. Enginemen appointed under the two preceding sections live near enshall, if such can be obtained, be persons living at or near the place . S. 18, $ 16.

to appoint en

R. S. 18, § 14.

R. S. 18, $ 19.
1838, 71, $ 2.

examine and


shall pay.

1852, 312,

where the engine is kept, and they shall enjoy all the privileges and

exemptions of other enginemen. Enginemen, if Sect. 17. If an engineman is negligent in his duties the mayor and Bergligent, may aldermen or selectmen shall discharge him and appoint another in his R. S. 18, $ 18.

stead. compensation

SECT. 18. Persons appointed enginemen or members of the fire department in any place, and who have done duty as such for one year

preceding the first day of May in any year, shall be entitled to receive See § 21.

from the treasurers of their respective towns a sum equal to the poll tax for state, county, and town taxes, (exclusive of highway taxes,) paid by them, or by their parents, masters, or guardians, and such further com

pensation as the town determines. Chief engineer, Sect. 19. The chief engineer or the officer who holds the first office do usterity in any fire department, and the foreman or director of each company in Assessors shall any place where no fire department is established by law, shall annucertify lists. ally on or before the first day of May ake out and certify to the assess

ors of their respective places a list of all persons in their department Remedy. or companies who through the year preceding have performed all the R. S. 18, $ 20.

duties therein required by law. The assessors shall within ten days See § 21. thereafter examine such lists and certify to the treasurers of their

respective places the amount to be paid to each person named therein. Such treasurers shall after deducting all taxes due from the persons so named


the same to them, or if minors to their parents, masters, or guardians; and


refusal of the treasurer to pay any sums so certified and returned, the persons entitled may severally recover the same

from such places in an action of contract. Penalty for re- SECT. 20. If such chief engineer or other officer wilfully refuses to fusing certificate, &c., or

make such certificate, he shall forfeit for each person whose name ought making false to have been so certified, a sum not exceeding five dollars, to be recovR. S. 18, § 21.

ered in an action of tort to his use, or on complaint to the use of the

commonwealth ; and if such engineer or other officer makes a false cerSee § 21. tificate in such case, he shall forfeit a sum not exceeding fifty nor less

than twenty dollars, to be recovered in an action of tort to the use of

the city or town, or on complaint to the use of the commonwealth. Three preced- SECT. 21. The provisions of the three preceding sections shall be in to apply unless force only in those cities and towns which have adopted or may adopt adopted. the same at the annual meeting of the town or by the city council of R. S. 18, $ 22.

the city. When such adoption shall be revoked by the town at an annual meeting, or by the city council of a city, said provisions shall

cease to be in force therein. Penalty for in- Sect. 22. Whoever wantonly or maliciously injures a fire engine or juring fire engines. the apparatus belonging thereto, shall be punished by fine not exceeding R. S. 18, $ 23. five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding two years, and

be further ordered to recognize with sufficient surety or sureties for his good behavior during such term as the court shall order.


1839, 135. 1852, 312.


SECT. 23. The selectmen of any town may establish a fire department ments may be organized, &c.

therein in the manner hereinafter provided, and such department and 1839, 138, 1. every other fire department, ụnless different provisions are specially made 1855, 128.

therefor, shall be organized in the manner, and the members thereof may exercise the powers and shall be subject to the liabilities, hereinafter

mentioned. Engineers, se SECT. 24. The selectmen of such town shall annually in April appoint lectmen to ap- for such department as many engineers not exceeding twelve as they point, &c. 1839, 138, $ 2. may think expedient, for the term of one year from the first day of May

following and until others are appointed in their stead; and the selectmen shall fill all vacancies.

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