Mohegan Volunteer Fire Association
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Arson Investigator K9 Blaze Passes Away
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By 2nd Lieutenant Chris Gravius
July 30, 2011

On Wed. 7/27/11, the local fire service community lost a intricate part of our fire invesigations when Canine Blaze passed away. Canine Blaze and his handler Past Yorktown Fire Chief Eric DiBartolo are both Arson Invesigators with the Westchester County Dept. of Emergency Services Cause and Origin Team Zone 4, which serves northern Westchester County. In July 2003, Blaze was a 13 months old German Sheperd when Past Yorktown Fire Chief Eric DiBartolo brought Blaze from the Czech Republic to Westchester County, NY. Shortly after his arrival, he went into service as an arson investigator. Although Blaze was sponsored by the Yorktown Fire Department, Blaze investigated at scenes throughout the region whenever there was a need and had done close to 1,000 investigations over the years. K9 Blaze was instrumental in several investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of arson throughout the region. K9 Blaze responded to numerous structure fires within the Lake Mohegan Fire District and assisted us with many of the investigations. K9 Blaze was highly trained to search for and locate accelerants. Besides fire scenes, K9 Blaze was also very well known in the community when he marched in parades or showed his skills at various events. More importantantly, K9 Blaze was known by local children when he made appearances in schools with the kids during fire prevention week or at FD Open Houses. K9 Blaze will be sorely missed by the entire community.

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