Governor B.F. Carroll formed the State Fire Marshal Division on July 5, 1911. Ole O. Roe was appointed as the first State Fire Marshal. State Fire Marshal Roe hired J.A. Tracy as the Deputy State Fire Marshal, E.J. Frowick and H.G. Zimmerman as Assistant State Fire Marshals, along with Miss Laura M. Pedersen as the Chief Clerk and Stenographer.
House File 41 Chapter 128 provided the legal start to the State Fire Marshal's Office. The State Fire Marshal was paid $2,500 annually and the Deputy State Fire Marshal was paid $1,500 annually. The annual budget for the State Fire Marshal's office was $12,500.
The legislation gave the State Inspector the authority to enter any building and report dangerous conditions to the State Fire Marshal. The legislation also set forth the powers to subpoena persons, enter buildings after a fire to investigate the cause of the fire, and keep records of all fires in the State of Iowa. Many of these powers are still in place today.
Interestingly enough, the legislation also required every teacher in every school to conduct a fire drill once a month. Section 13 of the legislation required the State Fire Marshal to devote their entire time to the duties of the office unable to leave unless dire circumstances.
The legislation required the State Fire Marshal to pay every fire department fifty-cents per fire if they reported the fire to the State Fire Marshal. The legislation also required the State Fire Marshal to pay ten-cents per mile to the fire department for the distance they traveled to get to the fire.
Iowa Department of Public Safety