Fire Investigation Unit
The Fire Investigation Unit has two shift investigators and one 40 hour investigator who oversees the unit. The two shift investigators split calls based on availability and whether the investigator is on shift that day. The Fire Investigator positions are filled by members of the department that are also full time firefighters working a normal shift schedule. In addition to the duties of a firefighter, EMT or Paramedic, as well as their other shift projects, each of the Sanger Fire Department investigators are certified from the California Office of the State Fire Marshal, and must complete basic and advanced courses in fire investigation during their initial and ongoing training. Our investigators also receive additional training locally, as well as from different parts of the state. In fact, each of the investigators belongs to a regional, and a state, association of fire investigators. The regular meetings they attend feature the most recent information available from the areas of fire behavior, law enforcement, legal opinions and court preparation.
These fire investigators dedicate off-duty time to investigate and/or follow up on fire of any cause or nature. Fire Investigators use their extensive training to determine the cause and origin of these fires as well as if the fires were intentional or unintentionally set. In addition, these investigators work closely with law enforcement to carry out each investigation to the fullest extent with arrest and conviction. Investigators are also trained in the interview and interrogation process, as well as evidence collection and preservation. All fire investigators are proficient in firearms training with quarterly qualifications. Investigators are constantly training and attend monthly CVAI (Central Valley Arson Investigators) meetings to further enhance their skills and knowledge base.
There were 100 total fires in the City of Sanger in 2017. Total fires include: structures, vehicles, rubbish/trash, grass and miscellaneous fires. This number represents a 5.26 % increase compared to 95 total fires in 2016.
Of the 100 fires in 2017, there were 25 structure fires that were investigated by the Unit. There was over 300 additional hours spent by investigators performing interviews of witnesses and suspects, photographing the incident scene and collecting evidence, performing follow up investigations and working with law enforcement. Of these 25 structure fires, after thorough investigations, 3 were determined to be intentionally set and considered arson fires.
More Information About a City Fire
If you have information about a fire in the City of Sanger, please contact the Sanger Fire Department at 559-875-6568.