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Springfield Fire Department News Releases

Posted on: November 16, 2022

New equipment assists Fire Department during arson investigations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hydrocarbon detectorThe Springfield Fire Department’s Bureau of Fire Prevention recently purchased and put into service a Grace Industries hydrocarbon and accelerant detector for use by fire marshals during fire and arson investigations. Hydrocarbon detectors locate ignitable liquid accelerants in areas where visibility is low, or when detection areas are difficult to identify during the process of evidence collection. The detector was put into service Nov. 4 and cost $1,860.

“The capabilities of the hydrocarbon detector will be critical in determining whether a fire is arson,” said Fire Marshal Travis Morrissey.

During fire investigations, fire marshals may deem it necessary to collect evidence that can be sent to a lab to determine if an accelerant may have been used to start the fire, often with difficulty in determining the best location to obtain a sample. The hydrocarbon detector is an important tool in the detection of trace levels of hydrocarbons from a variety of sources.

“The hydrocarbon detector will be used to pinpoint a specific area for sample collection of potential ignitable liquids at a fire scene. It can also be used by the Bomb Squad for post-blast investigations, assisting in the determination of potential substances used in the construction of an explosive or incendiary device,” said Fire Marshal and Bomb Squad Commander Lucas Bollinger. 

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Media inquiries should be directed to Fire Prevention Bureau Battalion Chief JB Lilley at 417-874-2348.

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