Butch Browning has retired from his position as the state's Fire Marshall, according to Colonel Mike Edmonson, Deputy Secretary of Public Safety Services.

"His commitment to fire safety and prevention was unparalleled," Edmonson says. "The positive changes implemented by Butch directly affected the quality of life of our citizens."

Browning is leaving in order to take a job in the public sector, Edmonson says. Felicia Cooper, an administrator for the Office of the State Fire Marshall, has been named as the interim Fire Marshall until a permanent replacement can be found.

"I will be diligent in my search for a permanent replacement," Edmonson says. "We will be looking for someone who has, not only the technical competencies for the position, but the background in public agency administration as well."

No timetable for naming such a permanent replacement has been announced.