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First Coast Gets New Tool to Help Combat Arson


Detective David Cheers
Jacksonville- Arson investigations in the Northeast Florida area have gone to the dogs, quite literally. Molly, the Florida State Fire Marshal's office newest investigator officially began her service on Monday.
Trained in Alfred, Maine, by the Maine State Police and teamed with her human partner, Detective Robert Redding, Molly will assume her important role as "the nose that knows" when an ignitable liquid has been used to set a fire. Quite often when a liquid such as gasoline is used to start a fire, the amount remaining is so small that only scientific equipment in a laboratory can detect it. With the olfactory senses of a dog being even more sensitive then the laboratory equipment, having a K-9 at the scene during the initial investigation is an invaluable asset.
Molly and her partner will work hand in hand with fire investigators throughout Florida as they process fire scenes to determine how and why a fire started. They are one of six K-9 teams within the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office canine program and will cover an area of approximately 17 counties across Northeast Florida.
"The addition of a K-9 team in our area has added to our toolbox and will enhance our ability to aggressively prosecute those who will intentionally set a fire", stated Detective David Cheers. "Molly is man's best friend, but an arsonist's worst nightmare"