Fire/ Arson Investigators have the responsibility of investigating fires and explosions of an incendiary nature. The section responds to fire scenes at the request of fire or law enforcement agencies throughout El Paso County, as well as areas outside the county under special circumstances. This section does not investigate fires at the request of insurance companies or private individuals.
One Fire Lieutenant and eight Fire Suppression Technicians staff the section, under the supervision of the Fire Marshal, Chief V Acosta. By nature, all investigators are certified as Structural Firefighters and EMT-Basics, with a minimum of 2 and a half years experience as a line fire fighter. Personnel must obtain several certifications prior to functioning in the capacity as a Fire/Arson Investigator. All Investigators are certified Peace Officers within the State of Texas as per the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. All Investigators must also be certified Fire Inspectors and certified Fire Investigators as per the Texas Commission on Fire Protection.
Aside from these certifications, Fire/Arson Investigators pursue other credentials to assist in obtaining technical expertise to assist with higher conviction rates and having a well-rounded section. Certifications range from national origin and cause investigators, K-9 handlers and instructors, firearms instructors, Hazardous Materials Technicians, Technical Rescue Technicians, and TCLEOSE / TCFP instructors.
During the operational fiscal year of 2005-2006, the El Paso Fire Department Fire/Arson Investigations section responded to a total of 384 incidents. Of those 384 incidents, 122 of those were accidental in nature, 100 were criminal, 115 were felonies, 38 were undetermined, and 9 were listed as other.
Criminal cases averaged 26% of the total and a 36% arrest rate was achieved. Felony cases on the other hand averaged 29% of the total and an 18% felony arrest rate was achieved.
|Lieutenant Carlos Lopez||K9 Unit|
|Phone: (915) 485-5661||Training|
|Mail: El Paso Fire Department Headquarters
Fire/Arson Investigations Section
416 N Stanton Ste 200
El Paso, TX 79901