Fire Investigation

Picture of arson K9, JetThe Howard County Code places the responsibility for investigating fires, explosions, and potentially explosive devices on the Department of Fire and Rescue Services. These duties are performed by Fire Investigators assigned to the Office of the Fire Marshal.  Fire Investigators are Fire Marshals who have received specialized training in determining the origin and cause of structure and vehicle fires. 

Howard County’s Fire Investigators are not sworn law enforcement officers. Guided by a memorandum of understanding with the Howard County Police Department, Fire Investigators work in partnership with Detectives to investigate fires that are suspicious or the result of a criminal act. 

When not investigating fires, investigators can be found performing inspections and enforcing the Fire Code

Another important function of the Fire Investigators is the administration of the County’s Juvenile Fire Setter program, where children who have been involved in the setting of a fire, are educated on the risks of playing with fire, matches, lighters, etc.

Did you know? Not all of our Fire Investigators are human! Our accelerant-detection canine, “Jet,” puts his nose to work during fire investigations to sniff out gasoline and other substances that could have been used to intentionally start a fire. 

Looking for a fire investigation report? Request one here.

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