Petition Against Local Fire Chief

A feud between agencies is now spilling out into the community and some homeowners want their local fire chief fired. There is now a petition against the Black Forest fire chief.

11 News talked to one man who says dozens of homeowners and business owners around the area are calling for the resignation or firing of Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey for decisions he made at the start of the fire.

"The word comes and goes around real quick," Black Forest resident Alan Havens said.

Havens is responding to the public bickering between Black Forest Fire Chief Harvey and El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa. Last week, Harvey said the fire, which started last June, was likely intentionally set.

"I can say this much, but as far as the rest of it, it needs to be held in confidence in case there is any future developments within the case," Chief Harvey told us last week.

Sheriff Maketa says they don't have enough evidence to make that assumption.

He then went on to say Harvey denied help when the sheriff's office offered it at the start of the Black Forest Fire.

"What I witnessed that day was a man who was reluctant and did not delegate it to the Sheriff's Office," Sheriff Maketa said last week.

Now a petition is going around the community and people like Havens, who lost everything in the fire, are signing it. They want Harvey removed as fire chief.

"(Chief Harvey) took everything I had, I don't know what I could say to him, it would be hard," Havens said.

We talked to several homeowners who agreed with Havens, but lot of them were reluctant to talk on camera for fear of retribution from the fire department.

"A lot of the businesses out here are afraid of repercussions by the fire department," Havens told us.

11 News talked to a member of the Black Forest Fire Board of Directors Friday night. They have the power to remove Harvey as fire chief. He told us the board will be hold an executive meeting Monday to get all the facts together and discuss this personnel matter.

We also tried reaching out to Chief Harvey; we have not yet heard back. Monday's meeting is closed to the public, but we'll let you know if they make any decision that affect the fire chief's job.


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