Fire marshal with advanced police training on leave after weeken - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Fire marshal with advanced police training on leave after weekend shooting

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Branon Bigos. (Photo Source: City of Kilgore) Branon Bigos. (Photo Source: City of Kilgore)
Peach Street shooting scene in Kilgore. (Photo Source: KLTV Staff) Peach Street shooting scene in Kilgore. (Photo Source: KLTV Staff)
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - A Kilgore man is now charged after allegedly pointing a rifle at firefighters who were battling a blaze in his neighborhood.

Kenny Wayne Davlin, 39, is charged with aggravated assault on a public servant. According to Kilgore police, Kilgore Fire Marshal Brandon Bigos shot Davlin after confronting him on Saturday, attempting to take him into custody. Bigos is now on paid administrative leave.
   
An armed fire marshal is not abnormal. In fact, fire marshals having their peace officers licenses is a requirement the Texas State Legislature passed a few years ago. Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Oren Hale has been a peace officer for 39 years.

"All of us are asked all of the time, 'What's a fire marshal doing carrying a gun?' ...well, we arrest people," Hale explains.

Since fire marshals investigate, write warrants and make arrests, the legislature decided a few years ago fire marshals would be peace officers, too.

"We've made a few arrests over the years because... people become irate at the firefighters for some reason or become abusive towards them. We've had them attack firefighters, usually not with weapons, but occasionally they do pick up a stick or a board or in this instance last Saturday a weapon, " Hale says.

According to Kilgore police, Davlin was spotted walking in the street with a handgun around 1 a.m. Saturday. They say he appeared to be intoxicated. Authorities on scene say Davlin got into a scuffle with his wife who was trying to disarm him and get him back to their home nearby. When the fire marshal on scene tried to intervene, Davlin allegedly ran into his house and returned with a rifle that he pointed at fire fighters. The fire marshal then shot him.

"I am very proud of my fire marshal. An event that took place could have meant we were responding to a scene with fatality firefighters and civilians. Due to his quick actions and calmness, he controlled the situation and possibly saved many lives," said Kilgore Fire Chief John Bellows on Saturday.

The fire marshal, Brandon Bigos, has his advanced peace officers certificate. He has been a licensed peace officer since 1997. The peace officers licenses that fire marshals hold come with a lot of training. They, too, have to attend police academies and complete the same continuing education that city police and sheriff's deputies do.

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