From the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office:
Deputy State Fire Marshals have charged an Elkton man after determining he had performed fire and life safety maintenance and service while knowingly having a revoked license to perform such duties. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is responsible in licensing individuals and companies who perform kitchen hood extinguishing system maintenance and the servicing of fire extinguishers.
On June 11, 2014 a fire safety inspector conducting a use and occupancy inspection at JD’s Smokehouse North, formerly Bruce Bitner’s Café & Grill, observed evidence of and confirmed by the owners, that Thomas G. Williams, 61, of Ambleside Drive, Elkton and owner of Total Resource Fire and Safety had performed maintenance on the grill extinguishing system as well as servicing fire extinguishers located throughout the restaurant on June 2, 2014.
Deputy State Fire Marshals conducted further investigation and determined Williams had willingly and knowingly performed service on the kitchen hood and fire extinguishers. Williams received payment for his services and advised he would return with property the owners had paid for. As of this date the property has not been returned. It was also determined the fire extinguishing system would have most likely failed in an actual emergency, causing extensive damage to the restaurant and/or injuring nearby employees.
Williams and his company were investigated in September 2013 after a business owner filed a complaint with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The investigation revealed poor workmanship, disregarding codes set forth by the National Fire Protection Association and Williams not following industry standards. After a lengthy investigation, the Office of the State Fire Marshal revoked Williams’ licenses in October 2013.
Deputy State Fire Marshals obtained a criminal summons and served Williams at his home. Williams was charged with 2 counts of violating a Fire Prevention Title/Regulation, Acting as a Contractor without a License and Theft Less than $1,000.00. If convicted of the charges, Williams faces 2 years in jail and/or $3,500.00 in fines.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is requesting any business that has contracted with Williams and his company to perform service to contact the Northeast Regional Office at (410) 836-4844 for a follow-up inspection. This inspection would be completed free of charge.