NF Fire Chief Terminated Following Derogatory Comment

February 8, 2011 Updated Feb 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

February 8, 2011 Updated Feb 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM EDT

Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW) - The Niagara Falls Fire Chief is now out of job. Roger Melchior received a termination letter Monday notifying him he would no longer serve as fire chief. Melchior is accused of writing a derogatory comment about people of Middle-Eastern descent on the Baltimore Fire Officers Assocation's website. Mayor Paul Dyster would not elaborate on specifics, but says the alleged comment was the final event in a series of many that led to Melchior's termination, which included job performance.

"I feel it's very important for me as the mayor to have people, especially heading safety departments to have my full confidence," said Dyster. "If that's not there, it's important to act quickly and fast to change the situation."

Melchior was selected as fire chief in September following a nationwide search. He moved here from Florida with 30 years of fire department experience. Melchior has denied posting the derogatory comment. He also allegedly posted a thread titled: 'My Last Post' a few days ago. The post reading in part: "People have been posting in my name for a couple of months now, it is no longer a joke, I am being held to task because of this…this is my last post. Thanks and stay safe."

Mayor Dyster says battalion chiefs will now rotate as the active chief until someone new is selected for the position. The mayor also wants to assure residents that fire service will not be interupted by this situation.