Local fire department hires arson dog

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BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS)– A new furry friend is joining the Bluefield, West Virginia Fire Department.

Kendall is the new arson dog who will assist firefighters in determining if chemicals are found at the scene of a fire. The Bluefield Fire Department is the only fire station in the Mountain State that has an arson dog.

Captain Shannon Akers is Kendall’s handler and said it took about six months to train her.

“She will alert on 61 different types of accelerants being anything from lighter fluid all the way to heavy things such as diesel fuel and kerosene,” Akers said.

When Kendall is at the scene and detects a chemical, she lays down to alert her handler. This lets the fire department know accelerants were present at the scene.

Bluefield Fire Department Chief Chad Bailey said Kendall was donated by a local insurance agency.

“Kendall was donated by State Farm several years ago, they took her out of service about a year ago, kind of put her in retirement and we’ve been working to put her back in service,” Bailey said.

This is Chief Bailey’s first time meeting Kendall and he said he can not wait to see how useful she will be.

“She’s a really great dog. She’s very friendly, she’s quiet, it’s nice to have her around the fire station,” Bailey said.

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