631.90 ARSON SCENE RESPONSIBILITIES
- DIR 631.10 Dead Body Procedure
Members arriving first at the scene of a major fire will initiate prompt radio notification to their supervisor and BOEC regarding the magnitude of the fire, and will forecast as nearly as possible the need for additional police assistance.
Members responding to a crime scene (e.g., burglary, theft, stolen or recovered vehicle) and discovering damage from fire will notify the Fire Bureau Investigator via radio.
The fire investigator will determine if arson has occurred, and, if so, will be responsible for the crime report. Should a fire investigator be unavailable and the member feels that a crime has occurred, the member will complete an Investigation Report and direct a copy to the Detective Division (Detectives) Arson Detail.
The Fire Bureau has agreed to immediately notify Detectives when a fire of suspicious origin has resulted in death or serious physical injury to a person.
a. Detectives will respond to the scene at once and contact the fire investigator.
b. Detectives at the scene will evaluate the need for additional detectives or support, and will contact command members for the purpose of fulfilling those needs.
c. Detectives will work with the original fire investigator. When the fire investigator’s continued assistance is needed beyond his/her tour of duty, the detectives will request through their commanding officer to the Fire Marshall’s Office that the fire investigator be placed on special assignment pending completion of the investigation.
d. Detectives will notify the Public Information Officer (PIO).
In all cases of arson, the Fire Bureau will have charge of the technical on-scene investigation with the Police Bureau being responsible for follow-up investigation. When arson causes death, the homicide detail will be responsible for the investigation. The scene of a possible arson where there is death or serious injury will be treated as a crime scene.
a. The news media and the public will be held back, with perimeter security handled by uniformed members, so that the scene and evidence may be protected.
b. If there is a death:
1. The body will not be moved unless it is necessary to preserve it from being consumed by fire (refer to DIR 631.10).
2. Detectives will ensure that the Medical Examiner has been contacted so that the body may be removed after the initial investigation.
Members at the scene or conducting traffic control will report any suspicious or unusual persons, vehicles, actions, etc. on a Special Report and direct it to Detectives Division.
News media requesting information should be referred to the PIO.