Freeport’s Fire Chief said Wednesday that he would resign from his part-time job at a fire damage restoration company in response to questions about whether his relationship with the business posed a conflict of interest.

Darrel Fournier at first defended his employment with Paul Davis Restoration, a national franchise that performs insurance work after fires, floods and other situations that cause property damage. However, toward the end of a telephone interview with a Portland Press Herald reporter on Wednesday he said he would resign.

Questions about the fire chief’s secondary employment arose when Fournier, while on duty, recommended Paul Davis Restoration to the owner of a duplex that burned Dec. 20, displacing two families, according to the building’s owner.

Paul Davis Restoration pays Fournier to pitch the company’s services to other Maine fire chiefs, the company said. Fournier said he worked for the company two days a month, and only on vacation days.

“Certainly my years as a fire chief and years of experience make me a valuable (employee) of any restoration company,” Fournier, who has 42 years of fire service, including 33 in Freeport, said in the interview Wednesday. “It’s a part-time job that I have on my days off. What I do on my time off is my business.”

Fournier later said he would soon resign from Paul Davis Restoration “so there will be no conflict of interest.”

It was not clear Wednesday how common it is for Maine fire department officials to work for or promote a private business that offers post-fire cleanups or restorations.

There doesn’t appear to be any policy prohibiting it in Freeport. The town’s conflict of interest policy prohibits town employees from benefiting from government contracts. A separate policy says town employees are not allowed to hold second, full-time jobs in addition to their municipal employment. There is no prohibition on outside part-time employment, however.

In 2014, Fournier was paid a combined $86,308.98 in salary, vacation and other reimbursements, according to payroll records provided by the town. It was not known Wednesday what he has been paid by Paul Davis.

After the fire at 21 Varney Road, employees of Paul Davis arrived at the scene and pressured property managers to hire them to board up the destroyed building right away, according to Jim Hatch, executive director of Freeport Housing Trust, which owns the building.

“(Our property manager) was in a position of, ‘You have to hire these people right now because we don’t have any time to consider hiring anyone else,’ ” Hatch said.

Hatch visited the scene of the fire about two days later, meeting with Fournier and investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office. Fournier gave him a business card from Paul Davis Restoration, Hatch said.

“(Fournier) said, ‘If you need help with the rebuilding or anything, they’d be glad to get involved,’ ” Hatch said.

Fournier said he could not recall if the card he gave Hatch was for Paul Davis, or for the Freeport Fire and Rescue. Asked if he might have given Hatch a Paul Davis card by mistake, Fournier said it was possible because he carries both sets of cards in the same folder.

Hatch, however, said it was not the first time he received a business card from Fournier on behalf of Paul Davis.

A few months ago, Fournier had set up a meeting with the housing trust’s property management company, Preservation Management. Hatch deals frequently with the town and the fire department on housing issues, he said, so it was natural for Fournier to strike up a conversation. Then the chief handed him his Paul Davis card, Hatch said.

“It seemed a little bit strange, but I didn’t really give it too much thought,” Hatch said.

Both Fournier and Peter Joseph, Freeport’s Town Manager, initially were reluctant to discuss the chief’s part-time job and questions about the Varney Road fire cleanup. Asked about Fournier’s secondary employment on Tuesday, Joseph initially said that he had only found out that day about Fournier’s second job.

“I think I need to have a conversation (with Fournier) and figure out what’s going on,” Joseph said Tuesday. “I’m starting from behind where you are.”

On Wednesday, Joseph denied that he had been unaware of Fournier’s secondary employment. Asked when he learned of the chief’s second job, Joseph declined to comment, saying that, on the advice of the town attorney, the situation is being treated as a pending personnel matter and was therefore confidential. Joseph declined to answer any further questions on the matter.

Fournier did not respond to requests for an interview on Tuesday, but in the interview Wednesday, he said he notified the town manager when he was hired by Paul Davis about six months ago.

Mark Higgins, who owns the Portland franchise of Paul Davis Restoration, confirmed Fournier’s employment, but wouldn’t divulge details of their relationship, refusing to provide information about how long Fournier had been an employee or how much he works.

Higgins said that in the world of insurance restoration work, it is standard industry practice for companies to foster relationships with fire chiefs.

Higgins said his employees, like those of his competitors, monitor first responder channels and receive notifications when fires or other emergencies occur.

Fournier, Higgins said, is “trying to help the community.”