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The Fire Investigations Unit conducts Department Investigations involving; Fire Incidents, Pre-Employment Backgrounds, and Professional Standards Violations. The Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) also serves as the liaison for civil and criminal subpoenas, depositions, and requests for fire reports. The FIU is staffed by one Supervisor, three 40 hour staff investigators, and three 56 hour scene investigators, and a K-9 trained to detect ignitable liquids.

The City of Fresno Fire Department is legally required to conduct a fire investigation on every fire. The Fire Investigations Unit (FIU) will assist Fire Captains in determining the origin and cause, where and how the fire started when requested. The FIU will lead investigations on incidents involving injuries or fatalities, high dollar loss, high profile (house of worship, government facility), and any illegal activity that has a nexus to fire. The Fire Investigations Unit (FIU) has sworn law enforcement officers that work with local law enforcement agencies to include the Fresno Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff’s department, Department of Justice, ATF, and FBI among others. The Deputy Fire Marshal is also the Department’s Terrorism Liaison Officer-Coordinator with the Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Center.

Fire Investigations

The mission of the FIU is to prevent fires by identifying the origin and cause of fires and thereby neutralize the threat of a similar incident repeating. All FIU members are qualified, armed peace officers per California Penal Code section 830.37 and handle fire incidents from ignition through conviction. They are members in good standing with the California Conference of Arson Investigators, the California Background Investigators Association, and many other professional groups and organizations.

Pre-Employment Background Investigations

Investigators are responsible for conducting all background investigations for FFD employment candidates. Modeled after California P.O.S.T. standards and and utilizing the eSOPH background software, employment candidates are examined and must satisfy the minimum qualifications in order to ensure they meet the Department’s standard for legal, ethical and moral compliance.

Professional Standards Investigations

Any complaint received by or regarding a member of the FFD, may be assigned by the Fire Chief (or designee) to the FIU. All professional standards investigations are performed according to California P.O.S.T. standards and honor the California Firefighter Bill of Rights standards.

FIU Staffing

The three Staff Investigators and Unit Supervisor maintain M-F, 40-hour a week office hours, the three Scene Investigators are scheduled according to 48-hour shifts to provide 24/7 investigative services.

The FIU maintains a pool of qualified Reserve Fire Investigators in the Suppression Division to draw from when additional help is needed on-scene or during follow-up.

The final member of the FIU is Shilo, a highly trained ignitable liquid detection K-9, and a proud member of the Fresno Investigative Strike Team (F.I.S.T.).

The team is supervised by the Deputy Fire Marshal/Fire Investigations Unit Supervisor Jay Tracy.
Fire Investigations Unit Supervisor (559) 621-4440

Obtaining Fire Reports

Call (559) 621-4181, visit the Public Records Request Portal, or e-mail [email protected] to request a fire report.