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City names acting fire chief to follow LaMontagne's retirement

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City names acting fire chief to follow LaMontagne's retirement

PORTLAND — City officials announced Tuesday that Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Smith will serve as acting chief when Frederick LaMontagne retires from the department's top position on April 1.

Smith, who began working with the department in 1975, will lead the city's fire and emergency response teams while City Manager Mark Rees completes a search for a new, permanent chief. Smith has been deputy chief since 2002, and has managed the department's Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass destruction Team for three years.

"He knows the department well and I am confident the community will benefit from his leadership over the coming months," Rees said.

LaMontagne made his retirement plans public in January after a 27-year career with the city. The city will accept qualified applications for the chief position until April 6.