The Fire Marshal's Office is a certified law enforcement agency in the State of Texas with major responsibilities. Among these responsibilities is the task of conducting investigations of fires and explosions for origin and cause. Fires are classified in one of four ways, accidental, incendiary, natural or undetermined, and it is up to the investigator to classify a fire as such. If it is determined that a fire is an arson, the investigator completes interviews and gathers evidence to determine suspects of the crime of Arson (28.02), Texas Penal Code Title 7; Ch. 28 Offenses Against Property.
Certified Peace Officer Fire Investigators make arrests, write citations and conduct administrative and criminal search warrants throughout the investigation process. They interview complainants, suspects and witnesses to develop information for the case, and collect and process evidence from the scene. Once all the facts of the case are gathered and reviewed, the case is submitted to the District Attorney for possible prosecution of arson or associated crimes. If the decision is made to prosecute a case, the investigator works closely with the D.A. throughout the grand jury process and during the trial, assisting them with any details as needed for court preparation and presentation.
Additional responsibilities include conducting fireworks inspections, investigating complaints, investigation of accidents, training fire and police departments, utilizing accelerant detection K-9s at fire scenes, and speaking engagements.
The public can report suspicious activity involving fires by calling the Toll-Free Arson Hotline number. The Arson Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day.
Toll-Free Arson Hotline