Picayune Fire adds new, canine investigator to the team - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Picayune Fire adds new, canine investigator to the team

Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver says their new black lab, Izzy, is able to use her finely-tuned sense of smell to sniff out a potentially criminal act. (Photo source: WLOX) Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver says their new black lab, Izzy, is able to use her finely-tuned sense of smell to sniff out a potentially criminal act. (Photo source: WLOX)
PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) -

The Picayune Fire Department has a new, four-legged member of their Arson Investigation Team. Monday, she showed off her skills for the public. 

Picayune Fire Marshal Pat Weaver says their new black lab, Izzy, is able to use her finely-tuned sense of smell to sniff out a potentially criminal act.

"She looks for any ignitable liquid, an accelerant they might use in a fire. She can find them," Weaver explained. "She's a good dog. She can find a whole range of hydrocarbons and even alcohols, too."

She's trained to immediately stop and sit when she smells an accelerant.

"It's a privilege. There are over 200 teams in the country, and we're lucky to have one of the dogs," Weaver noted.

Izzy is replacing the department's previous arson dog, Joanie, who is retiring.

Picayune Fire Chief Keith Brown says he's thankful to be a part of a program that supports using dogs in investigations.

"Joanie's been a great asset and Izzy will, too," Brown said. 

State Farm Insurance sponsors the Arson Dog Program. Weaver said Izzy and other arson dogs around the country were selected from a Seeing Eye Dog program in Florida.

Izzy and Weaver recently completed a month-long training in Maine. The three-year-old lab is now certified by the Maine State Police and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy as a certified accelerant detection canine.

Weaver said he and Izzy got back from training Thursday, and are ready to get to work investigating fires in South Mississippi.

"With my old dog, it was all the way up into Greene County, above Hattiesburg and to the west of there. So if they need help with any investigation, we'd be happy to go," Weaver said.

Weaver said the state fire marshal in Hattiesburg also has an arson dog.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly