Firefighters Become Detectives in Innovative Arson Training Course

Firefighters Become Detectives in Innovative Arson Training Course
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Retired Fire Marshal Dave Nichols uses a cigarette and newspaper to set a fire, all part of a program to train firefighters on how to solve a case of arson.

“The big thing as far as fighting fires with this information is to know going in to be more cognizant not to disturb evidence for the guys coming in behind us to investigate. Hopefully as something as we promote down the line will be more pertinent to our particular job,” says Nevada Firefighter Chris Robinson.

This trailer is made to represent a three unit apartment complex and give students a hands on experience of what it’s really like to investigate a fire scene.

Nichols set three separate fires within the training vehicle. It’s the student’s job to find out what started the fires.

“In one of the rooms we actually pored some diesel fuel and people will use that quite often to set up fires someplace, some kind of ignitable liquid. and there’s patterns left when they pour that someplace and there’s ways to see that and go i think this is what happened,” says Nichols.

“In one of the rooms, in one corner it was a v pattern, v-shaped out. and the other corner was v shaped out so that kind of indicates that two fires were started from an arson. and that kind of tells us that it wasn’t an accidental fire, it was a purposely caused fire,” says Liberal Firefighter Jacob Engle.

Nichols says this free grant funded training is important for small volunteer fire departments like Liberal’s.

“They don’t have a chance to get out. They don’t have finances to send people to the national fire academy or to some of these conferences in Missouri and those kinds of things,” says Nichols.

Jacob Engle has been a firefighter in Liberal since he was 16 and says the course was not only fun but provides valuable life experience.

“If the time comes you don’t want to be thinking about what you want to do, you just need to get it done,” states Engle.

In Liberal, Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM News.