CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Fire Department has named retired fire captain, Doug Kelly, as its interim fire marshal.

Public information officer, Lisa Edwards says Kelly served in the Chapel Hill Fire Department for more than 25 years and will serve as the interim fire marshal for the next 60-90 days. She says the department hopes to be able to fill the permanent position by then.

“We had an open recruitment, and we saw some pretty good candidates,” Edwards says. “We want to make sure we get the best fit for our department and our community, because that position interacts with the community so much.”

The fire marshal is responsible for the life safety division of the fire department—one which Chapel Hill has been working short on staff.

Matt Lawrence moved from the fire marshal position to Deputy Chief of Operations. Deputy Fire Marshal Dace Bergen has served as the interim fire marshal since January.

“The plan was he would just serve as interim until we found a permanent replacement,” Edwards says.

The Chapel Hill Fire Department operates from five fire stations around the town and staffs nearly 100 employees. Its budget is upwards of $7 million, and it’s responsible for protecting more than $7 billion worth of property—of which nearly $5 billion belongs to UNC.