Florida Lab Mix Assists in Accelerant Detection

The Lealman Fire District has added a new addition to its fire prevention force -- Quincy!

The 10 month-old Lab mix is being trained for accelerant detection. Quincy responded to his first fire this morning in the Lealman Fire District and spotted several possible accelerant areas.

Once his comprehensive training is complete, Quincy will be available to Pinellas County through automatic aid and Florida through mutual aid. The fire this morning was in a single- story residential structure that had heavy fire showing from the rear upon arrival of Lealman's Engine 18.

The crew from C-Shift on Engine 18 brought the fire under control within 20 minutes. The fire is currently being investigated as an incendiary fire.

Accelerant detection dogs, mistakenly, referred to as arson dogs, can be instrumental in the conduct of an effective fire investigation. Trained to detect and alert to the presence of even the smallest trace amount of petroleum-based liquid accelerants, the canines can easily make the difference.

A properly trained dog gives fire investigators a significantly greater chance of locating samples with traces of ignitable liquids that will be confirmed by chemical analysis. Without dogs like Quincey, investigators are forced to rely partially on luck and hunches to decide on the best place to take a fire debris sample.

After the sample is taken, it is forwarded to the lab for analysis.

Quincy also will be trained to search for accelerant traces that may be on the clothing of suspects and bystanders

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