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Man's Best Friend Can Be Arsonist's Worst Enemy

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Fires leave thousands of people in North Carolina without a home each year. The first question for many victims is, "What caused the tragedy?" For many families, that answer comes from a dog.

The arson dogs for the

State Bureau Of Investigation

train every day, but they must earn recertification at the Crime Lab twice a year. The highly-trained dogs can sniff out tiny amounts of gasoline, lighter fluid or any accelerant used to start a fire.

Many times, the dogs make the difference in an arson investigation.

"Their noses are so sensitive that they can detect and assist the fire investigator in finding microscopic quantities of physical evidence in a fire scene that they might not otherwise find," SBI agent Jerry Webster said.

The dogs are motivated to find clues in arson investigations. They only eat when they track down accelerants.


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