Putting out a fire is only the beginning of the job for fire investigators. In fact, determining where, when, and how a fire starts can save lives and property. In cases of arson, it can even lead to serious criminal charges.
More than 80 members of the Mississippi Fire Investigators Association are in Moss Point this week for their annual Spring Training Seminar. But not all of their training takes place inside the Pelican Landing Convention Center.
Moss Point Firemen are building a training module next door. Deputy State Fire Marshall David Dry says it's built to burn, so investigators can learn.
"We're going to do some practical demonstrations as far as how fire burns and travels for the students," says Dry. "And what you've got is a sheetrock apartment here that we're going to set up as a room and start a fire in."
Dry says hands-on experience is essential to any good fire investigator.
"When it comes time to actually talk about, testify in court they can say, 'I've been there. I've done that. I've seen how it works under controlled conditions and I know what I'm talking about.'"
The materials used to build the Training Module were donated by 84 Lumber Company. The seminar ends Friday at noon.