The Milwaukee Fire Department (MFD), in collaboration with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the State Fire Marshal; and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, established a Fire Investigation Task Force on May 4, 2009. The MFD now works closely with MPD to investigate all fire incidents in which the damage to the property exceeds $10,000; injuries or loss of life which occur to occupants or emergency response personnel; the cause of fire is suspicious, incendiary or undetermined; the fire is a second alarm or higher; and/or anytime the MFD request the unit to arrive on scene. The Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) is run by a Lieutenant who is assigned to a 40-hour workweek and subject to recall as necessary.
The MFD Fire Investigation Unit, in conjunction with MPD, has the authority to investigate the origin, cause and circumstances of every fire, explosion or hazardous materials emergency in which the fire department has a reasonable interest. When the fire investigator has reason to believe that a fire, explosion or hazardous materials incident may be the result of a violation of any law, the investigator will immediately take custody and safeguard all physical evidence in connection with the incident. Both departments work closely with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office to help prosecute arsonists.
If you would like to anonymously report an arson fire tip, please call the Wisconsin Arson Insurance Council (WAIC) Wisconsin Arson Hotline at 800-362-3005. If your tip leads to an arrest/conviction of an arsonist, you are eligible for a cash reward. WAIC has awarded over $43,000 to tipsters. To learn more, please visit their Web site.