Former Nevada state fire marshal Huddleston dies
April 4, 2012
Thomas J. Huddleston, Nevada’s state fire marshal from 1977 until 1987, died March 22 in Poulsbo, Wash., after a lengthy illness. He was 69.
As fire marshal, Huddleston was instrumental in the composition, adoption, implementation and enforcement of the first statewide fire and building codes. Huddleston also wrote the bill draft for the Nevada Retrofit law after the deadly MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel fires. The MGM fire on Nov. 21, 1980, claimed 87 lives and resulted in 1,000 injuries. The Feb. 10, 1981, Hilton Hotel blaze resulted in the deaths of eight people and 200 injuries.
Huddleston also served as a member and chairman of the Western Chiefs Association Uniform Fire Code Committee, testifying on fire prevention and the Uniform Fire Code process before local and state officials and Congress.
After leaving Nevada, Huddleston served as fire marshal for Corona, Calif., until 1993. He then joined the Poulsbo Fire Department as fire marshal and was promoted to deputy fire chief in 2005, retiring in 2010. He most recently resided in Hansville, Wash.
Huddleston began his career in fire services at the age of 25 for the Las Vegas Fire Department with a special interest in fire prevention. His experience included managing and leading the bomb search and disposal squad for all of Clark County. He served with the department for nine years.
Huddleston had served in the U.S. Air Force, including a tour in Vietnam.
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He is survived by his wife, Wendy; son Shawn; daughter Jennifer Sommer; and two grandchildren.
A celebration of his life is planned for April 13 at Poulsbo.