PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire is getting a new investigator next year — one with four legs and a keen sense of smell to help firefighters sniff out suspicious blazes.
Officials say the bureau will be getting an arson dog with the aid of a scholarship from insurance company State Farm. The dog will be trained in April 2018 in Concord, New Hampshire.
The “accelerant detection dog” will be trained to distinguish between scents at a fire scene and detect accelerants on property and people.
Fire Chief Darryl Jones said such animals are certified as expert witnesses, so prosecutors can use as evidence the fact that a dog alerted on a certain area.
Arson dogs in Beaver Falls, Allentown, Upper Chichester Township and Altoona were trained through the same program.