Former Alexandria Fire Chief Paul Smith said he's "exploring some options" after Wednesday's announcement that he is being replaced by H. "Butch" Browning Jr. as Louisiana state fire marshal.
Smith was appointed to the position in March 2007 by then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco and replaced Henry Fry, who continued as deputy fire marshal. Gov. Bobby Jindal appointed Browning, the Gonzales fire chief.
Smith said the announcement "came as a disappointment" but that he "thoroughly enjoyed" the time he had as fire marshal.
His work while in the position focused on the new state building codes and how they affected the construction and economic development of the state, which had to rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "I'm going to explore my options throughout the state and see what happens," Smith said of his future. "But I do want to stay in the fire service."
He left the Alexandria Fire Department after 11 years as chief and 32 years of fire service experience.