Fire Investigation Ordinance

Published: 1997-06-30

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Chapter: 12 FIRE INVESTIGATION ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997

To authorize judicial investigations into the causes of fire.
(Amended 50 of 1911; 1 of 1912 Schedule)

[18 December 1895]

(Originally 29 of 1895 (Cap 12, 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997

This Ordinance may be cited as the Fire Investigation Ordinance.
(Amended 5 of 1924 s. 6)

Section: 2 In case of fire Commissioner of Police may take possession

of premises and report

Whenever a fire has taken place on any premises, or there is reason to suppose that an attempt has been or is
about to be made to set fire to any premises or part thereof, the Commissioner of Police may, if he thinks fit, take
possession of such premises and of any other premises where the fire is supposed to have originated, to the exclusion,
if he deems it necessary, of the owners and all others; and he shall make or cause to be made, by the police officer in
charge of the district or by such police officer as shall be deputed by the superintendent in charge of the division, a full
and minute inspection of such premises, and shall forthwith make a written report in detail to a magistrate of the state
of the said premises and of contents, if any, thereof, furnishing also all such information touching the origin and
circumstances of the fire as he may be able to obtain.

(Replaced 27 of 1937 Schedule. Amended 12 of 1940 s. 2; 48 of 1961 s. 2)

Section: 3 Inquiry by magistrate into causes of fire 30/06/1997

On the receipt of such report, the magistrate, unless, on consideration of the facts stated therein, he is of opinion
that such inquiry is unnecessary, shall proceed to investigate the causes of the fire, and shall, with as little delay as
practicable, take the depositions upon oath of all persons likely to know the facts and circumstances and of all other
persons who, in his opinion, may be able to furnish information in respect thereof.

Section: 4 Examination of witnesses 30/06/1997

At such investigation any police officer not below the rank of inspector or the police officer in charge of the
district or such police officer as shall be deputed by the superintendent in charge of the division and any interested
person may by leave of the magistrate and either personally or by his counsel or solicitor examine the witnesses and
cause to be examined such persons as may be able to give information touching the fire or the attempt as aforesaid.

(Replaced 27 of 1937 Schedule. Amended 12 of 1940 s. 3)

Section: 5 Close of inquiry 30/06/1997

If, in the opinion of the magistrate, the investigation does not disclose any offence or, although it discloses an
offence, does not show any reasonable cause for suspecting any person of having committed such offence, the
magistrate shall close the inquiry.

(Replaced 21 of 1980 s. 2)

Section: 6 Committal of suspected person to answer charge 30/06/1997

If, in the opinion of the magistrate, the fire is the result of crime, and there is reasonable cause to suspect and he


does suspect any person of having committed an offence against the law, he shall have power to commit such person
to prison to answer any charge that may be brought against him or to require him to give security, to his satisfaction,
to appear and surrender to answer any such charge, and, on such charge, the magistrate may take the evidence as in
other cases.

(Amended 50 of 1911 s. 4; 1 of 1912 Schedule)

Section: 6A Release of premises 30/06/1997

The magistrate may, at any time, if any premises have been taken into the possession of the Commissioner of
Police under section 2, order the release of the premises.

(Added 21 of 1980 s. 3)

Section: 6B Closure of inquiry or release of premises without prejudice

to proceedings

The closure of an inquiry or the release of premises under this Ordinance shall be without prejudice to any
proceedings against any person for an offence against the law.

(Added 21 of 1980 s. 3)

Section: 7 Power to summon witnesses, etc. 30/06/1997

For the purposes of this Ordinance, and in relation to all investigations held thereunder, and for the summoning
of witnesses, and for all proceedings in connexion with such investigations, the magistrate shall have all the powers
possessed by a magistrate in relation to cases of indictable offences, and the Commissioner of Police shall render him
all proper and necessary assistance.

Section: 8 Removing property from premises burned, etc. 30/06/1997

Except on an order from the magistrate, who may, on good cause shown, give such order, any person who
removes or attempts to remove any property from premises in possession of the police under this Ordinance shall be
liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500, or to imprisonment for 6 months.

(Amended 30 of 1911 s. 10; 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 1 of 1912 Schedule; 2 of 1912 Schedule; 21 of 1912; 5 of
1924 Schedule; 22 of 1950 Schedule)

Section: 9 Application to vessels 30/06/1997

The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to a ship or boat or any other description of vessel used in
navigation, not being a vessel exceeding 300 tons, in the same manner as such provisions apply to premises.

(Added 9 of 1950 Schedule. Amended 17 of 1965 Schedule; 13 of 1995 s. 33)