Dogs vital in helping officials determine causes of large fires

News 12 New Jersey was given a look at how the canine team at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives uses dogs to determine the cause of large fires.

News 12 Staff

Feb 8, 2019, 9:22 PM

Updated 1,932 days ago

Share:

As investigators work to determine what caused the massive fire at the Marcal Paper Mill, News 12 New Jersey was given a look at how the canine team at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives uses dogs to determine the cause of such a large fire.
The fire at the paper mill destroyed the 425,000-square-foot building, reducing it to rubble. ATF dogs can help determine where and how fires like this one started.
Officials with the agency tell News 12 that the dogs go over the area looking for possible accelerants, and indicate where samples should be taken.
“Once he indicates that an accelerant is present…he will do what’s called a ‘change in behavior.’ So he might look at me, or go to sit down or lift his head up,” says Joseph Battaglia.
“The next command I give him is ‘show me,’ so what he can do is actually search and give me a pinpoint within 3 inches of exactly where he found it,” he says.

Those samples are taken back to the lab for testing.
Dogs from the ATF, the state fire marshal, and the Bergen County Sheriff's Office are all part of the national response team brought in to assist with the investigation into the fire at Marcal.


More from News 12
1:11
Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

Thousands participate in 46th annual Spring Lake 5-mile run

2:45
Warm temperatures with mostly sunny skies in New Jersey

Warm temperatures with mostly sunny skies in New Jersey

1:34
'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

'This is unbelievable traffic.’ Memorial Day travelers share road trip blues

0:18
Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Prosecutor: Man accused of killing man in Roselle park turns himself in

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

Guide: 2024 Memorial Day Parades in New Jersey

2:08
Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

Blood test that detects colon cancer close to receiving FDA approval

2:50
Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

Police: 1 person injured in explosion at Sayreville power station; hundreds without power

0:24
Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

Newark man convicted of robbing poker player in Atlantic City

1:34
Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

Fire at commercial building in Secaucus sends plumes of smoke into the air

0:51
Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

Jersey Proud: Ashley Lauren Foundation helps provide pool to boy with brain cancer

0:44
Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

Gov. Murphy announces $100M Boardwalk Preservation Fund for the Jersey Shore

2:10
Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

Jersey Shore business owners hope for successful Memorial Day, despite Route 71 bridge repairs

2:07
‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

‘It was like a nightmare. Very scary.’ Thursday’s severe storm creates chaos for West Milford residents

6:13
EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump one-on-one interview with News 12

1:01
2.9 magnitude aftershock hits Tewksbury, USGS says; 177th aftershock since April earthquake

2.9 magnitude aftershock hits Tewksbury, USGS says; 177th aftershock since April earthquake

Water main break forces Middlesex Borough schools to close Friday

Water main break forces Middlesex Borough schools to close Friday

1:05
Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

Trump floats possible VP picks in News 12 interview

2:10
2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts

2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to be above-normal, NOAA predicts

0:35
Police: New Brunswick councilwoman charged with reckless, intoxicated driving

Police: New Brunswick councilwoman charged with reckless, intoxicated driving

0:39
Federal Election Commission: Sen. Menendez's campaign spends over $2 million on legal fees

Federal Election Commission: Sen. Menendez's campaign spends over $2 million on legal fees