BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A big change for the Baltimore City Fire Department.

Just a short time ago, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that Chief James Clack will step down, effective July 26.

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Chief Clack came to Baltimore after more than two decades of service in Minneapolis.

He plans to return to Minnesota to spend more time with his family.

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“It has been an honor to serve with the men and women of the Baltimore City Fire Department,” said Chief Clack. “In Baltimore, I had an opportunity to lead the most professional and courageous fire department in the United States.”

Under his leadership, the Baltimore City Fire Department improved public safety, reducing fire deaths to the lowest level on record.

“Chief Clack worked successfully to increase our focus on the safety of residents and fire personnel,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “In the last three years, as the city faced significant budget challenges, we reduced fire deaths to an all-time low, improved fire response times, and increased citizens’ access to free smoke alarms. Chief Clack’s commitment to improving the overall operations of the department has prepared us for further achievement in the coming years.”

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Assistant Chief Jeffrey Segal will serve as Acting Fire Chief until a permanent replacement is found.