COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - The Ohio State Fire Marshal has added a new investigator who is capable of sniffing out clues at fire scenes.
'Zephyr' is a recent graduate of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) Accelerant Detection Canine Handler Course. Zephyr trained for six weeks, along with her handler State Fire Marshal Investigator Tim Schreadley, at ATF's canine training facility in Front Royal, Virginia. During their training, the handler and the accelerant detection canine learned to work as a team to investigate fire scenes.
"Investigator Schreadley and Zephyr will routinely work together to investigate fires and solve crimes of arson. Zephyr will enhance the investigator's capabilities by detecting a variety of ignitable liquids that could have been used to initiate a fire," said Fire Marshal Larry Flowers.
Zephyr will live with Investigator Schreadley. She never eats out of a bowl, but is hand-fed and only as a reward for correctly identifying an accelerant. That means the dog and her handler must train every day.
Zephyr is one of four canines assigned to the Division of State Fire Marshal: three are accelerant detection canines and one is a bomb canine. The animals are a shared service. They are provided to the Division, along with their initial training and certification, free of charge. If their expertise should be needed, they can be called on to assist the ATF National Response Team anywhere in the United States.
Investigator Schreadley and Zephyr will be based primarily in the Dayton-Montgomery County area and will also cover investigations in Butler, Greene, Hamilton, Preble and Warren Counties.
ATF has trained accelerant detection canines since 1986.