Fire investigators can detect arson faster with K-9 sidekick

Pogo the arson investigating K-9

Fire investigators have a new tool to detect arson that's being used right here in the Heartland.

The new tool is none other than a 23-month-old goldador named Pogo, who is part golden retriever and part lab. Pogo is trained to sniff for accelerants such as gasoline, lighter fluid, diesel fluids and everything in between at suspicious fire scenes. A special agent for the Iowa Fire Marshal's office, drove into town from Mt. Pleasant for a demonstration with the Ottumwa Fire Department's chief deputy.

â??She can sniff through a fire scene within 20 minutes and assist us in what would take us hours to be able to do and possibly more than that and not be able to come up with something," Special Agent Jeff Shatzer said, "so she's out there and is able to tell me if an accelerant was used in a fire scene if an accelerant was used."

Shatzer says arson is the second leading cause of fires in the state of Iowa, with appliances being the number one cause of fires in the Hawkeye State.