A CANINE investigator has been praised for setting her allegiances aside in order to rush to the assistance of firefighters battling two separate blazes.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service’s fire investigation dog, Fizz, is a Sprocker Spaniel who was recruited by the team last summer.

The highly skilled pooch, who was trained by Essex Police, can identify some 30 flammable materials which in most cases are completely odourless to humans.

Fizz now works with handler Graham Currie, crew manager at the Urban Search and Rescue team, which is based in Lexden, Colchester.

Her most recent jobs, however, saw her helping firefighters from Hertfordshire, when she and Graham attended car fires in St Albans and Turnford.

During the two incidents, which occurred on June 11 and June 14, Fizz made significant discoveries which may have proved vital.


Paula Stevenson, station commander at Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Thanks very much to Graham and Fizz for travelling to Herts to assist with the vehicle fire investigation in St Albans, it was good to meet them.

"Having the attendance of a fire investigation dog team is invaluable. This was again proved with the wide open area search that they were able to cover, saving lots of time.

"Positive indications gave potentially valuable information to the scenes of crime officer."

Graham is a member of the association of fire investigation dogs, which means he offers support to other fire and rescue services, and other services assist in Essex.

Fizz has also made potentially significant finds during investigations in Borehamwood, Herts two weeks ago, and in Stondon Massey, in Essex.

An essential additional to the fire service, Graham believes Fizz is proving to be invaluable in speeding up investigations and helping to bring criminals to justice.

He said: "Fizz cuts down how long investigations take because she can help to rule arson in or out so quickly.

"In the incident in St Albans, she indicated around the car and away from the vehicle where she found a potential piece of evidence.

"In Turnford, she did a large search to make sure no items had been discarded away from the car. On the car itself, she indicated all around it and on the roof.

"The more we get her out to incidents, the more chance we have of bringing people to justice."