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Contra Costa County
Fire Protection District
Administrative Office:

4005 Port Chicago Highway,
Suite 250
Concord, CA 94520-1180

Phone: (925) 941-3300
E-mail: info@cccfpd.org

MORE CONTACT INFO



Arson Tip Line: 1-866-50-ARSON

Fire Investigation Unit

Introduction

The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District provides full time, professional fire investigation services to many areas of the county. The Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) consists of a supervising Fire Prevention Captain and three full-time investigators. These four personnel provide 24-hour fire investigation services to some 20 cities with a population of approximately 625,000 and covering an area of 555 square miles.

Duties & Purpose

The FIU determines the origin and cause of fires and other incidents occuring in Contra Costa County that are suspected to be criminal in nature.

The primary purpose of the Fire Investigation Unit is the investigation of fires that are intentionally set; suspicious; unlawful; attempted arson; causing serious injury or death; or involving possession or use of fireworks, incendiary devices, and/or explosives.

The duties and responsibilities of the FIU include: conducting interviews of suspects, victims and witnesses; sifting through fire debris to determine the origin of the fire; identifying possible ignition sources; collecting and preserving physical evidence; documenting the fire scene with sketches and photographs; preparing, serving and returning search warrants; preparing criminal fire offense cases for submittal to the District Attorney's Office for complaints; arresting and processing criminal offenders; giving expert witness testimony and presenting evidence in court; processing felony offenses committed by juveniles; instructing fire and police personnel on fire and arson investigation procedures; and responding to fire and/or rescue emergencies, as required.

Help us fight Arson!

Community involvement is critical to solving cases of arson and the citizens of Contra Costa County are very helpful in providing authorities information about crimes that have occurred in their communities.

You can help the Fire District fight fires! Call the Arson Tip line at 1-866-50-ARSON to leave a recorded message about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish. You can leave an anonymous tip, but sometimes the fire investigator may need additional information, so we ask for your name and phone number if you are willing to leave it. All investigations are treated confidentially.

You can make a difference! When you call the Arson Tip Line, don't worry if you think the information you have seems too little or unimportant. Some of our best tips come from citizens who were not aware that what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident.

1. What is "ARSON"

Arson is circumstances where someone intentionally, recklessly, or unlawfully sets a fire or is responsible for starting a fire.

2. When should you call the Arson Tip Line?

You should call when you have information possibly related to the origin of a fire.

3. If you call the Tip Line, will someone respond immediately?

The "tip line" is for messages that we will check at least daily. Depending on our investigative workload we may not be able to get back to you right away, so if your information is urgent and you need immediate assistance, call us at the general office numbers below.

4. If you leave a message, is your information anonymous?

Yes, your information can be anonymous if you wish. Please specify in your message if you do not want to be identified or contacted by investigators. But remember, a good witness is one of the best crime fighting tools available to help keep our communities safe!

Arson is a Crime

The U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimate an average of 316,600 intentional fires are reported to fire departments in the United States each year, causing injuries to 7,825 firefighters and civilians. In 2006, ten firefighters died as a result of arson. In addition to needless injury and death, an estimated $1.1 billion in direct property loss occurs annually

In the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District area of responsibility, there were approximately 591 Fire Investigation Unit cases in 2009. Of those cases, 69% (410) were determined to be arson or suspicious fires.

Every year in early May, the United States Fire Administration, a division of the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency recognizes national Arson Awareness Week across the United States.

Contact the Fire Investigation Unit Directly


General Office 925-942-9140

George Laing , Fire Prevention Captain Investigations Unit Supervisor (925) 941-3522

Vic Massenkoff, Fire Investigator (925) 941-3541

Ryan Graham, Fire Investigator (925)941-3528

Kevin Brown, Fire Investigator (925)941-3529