Fire Investigator

  • Fire Investigator
  • What will I be doing?
  • Do I qualify?
  • Can I be successful?
  • Benefits
  • How do I apply?
Class Number: 
8571
Annual Salary Range:
$39,708.00 – $56,520.00
Twice-a-Month Salary Range:
$1,654.50 – $2,355.00
Pay Grade: 
A25

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Definition

This is investigative and law enforcement work for the Department of Public Safety to determine the cause, origin and circumstances of fires and explosions, and to enforce laws regarding arson, fireworks violations and related offenses.

An employee in this class is responsible for investigating fires and explosions in response to requests from fire service agencies, law enforcement officials and/or prosecuting attorneys within an assigned geographic district for the Division of Fire Safety. Work involves processing fire scenes, identifying burn patterns, collecting evidence, documenting findings and testifying in criminal cases. Work also involves investigating complaints regarding violations of fireworks laws. The employee may perform a specialized function, such as Canine Handler or CVSA (Computer Stress Voice Analyzer) Operator. General supervision is received from a Fire Investigation Supervisor; however, the employee exercises considerable independent judgment in the performance of assigned responsibilities within established policies and procedures.

Job Duties

Investigates the origin, cause and circumstances of fires and/or explosions in response to requests from fire service agencies, law enforcement officials and/or prosecuting attorneys within an assigned geographic district of the state.

Processes fire scenes by examining and/or removing debris, identifying burn patterns and diagramming, photographing and/or videotaping the scene.

Collects, identifies and preserves evidence following chain of custody procedures.

Interviews property owners/proprietors, occupants, witnesses, neighbors, firefighters and suspects.

Makes arrests on the scene or by warrant and transports criminal violators when necessary.

Issues subpoenas requiring the production of insurance, legal and/or financial records pertinent to fire investigations.

Investigates fire-related offenses, such as homicide, drug crimes, burglary, insurance fraud, etc.

Documents findings with reports; submits documented findings to supervisor for review and submission to prosecutors and/or grand juries.

Performs a specialized function, such as Canine Handler or CVSA (Computer Stress Voice Analyzer) Operator; responds to requests for specialized assistance from other investigators, fire service agencies and law enforcement officials.

Testifies and/or gives depositions as an expert witness in legal proceedings regarding fire scene investigations.

Serves as a member of a major case task force and participates in the investigation of major crimes along with representatives from other jurisdictions.

Responds to media inquiries related to the work.

Develops and conducts training seminars for fire and law enforcement agencies regarding the investigation of arson, bomb threats, methamphetamine laboratories and related topics.

Participates in periodic evaluation and retraining sessions in the use of firearms, fire investigation techniques and arrest tactics to maintain required certifications.

Investigates complaints regarding violations of fireworks laws.

Prepares and submits investigation reports, work logs, expense accounts and related forms.

Performs other related work as assigned.

Areas of Interest: 
Law Enforcement, Security & Military

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(The following minimum qualifications will determine merit system eligibility.  Allowable experience and education substitutions are provided in italics below the corresponding minimum qualification statement; no other substitutions will be permitted.  These minimum qualifications may also be used to evaluate applicants for Missouri Uniform Classification and Pay System positions not requiring selection from merit registers.)

Three years of experience as a firefighter, fire inspector, investigator or law enforcement officer; and possession of a high school diploma or proof of high school equivalency. (College coursework with specialization in fire science, law enforcement or closely related areas may be substituted for a maximum of two years of the stated experience.)

Special Requirements

Possession of certification as a peace officer in accordance with the requirements established by the State of Missouri.

Ability to obtain a Missouri Fire Investigators Certificate within timeframes established by the Division of Fire Safety.

Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment.

Possession of a valid Missouri vehicle operator’s license.

Please note that documentation that supports your eligibility (i.e. transcripts, employment records, etc.) may be required at any time during the application and hiring process. If you do not possess the minimum qualifications, please consider one of many other employment opportunities with the State of Missouri.

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Key Skills

Do you possess the key skills which are considered essential for successful employment in this classification?

Considerable knowledge of state laws and regulations regarding arson, explosives, hazardous materials and fireworks, as well as related criminal offenses.

Considerable knowledge of Division programs, policies and procedures.

Considerable knowledge of the principles of fire ignition, combustion, accelerants and explosives.

Considerable knowledge of techniques and methods used in conducting investigations of fires, arson, explosions and hazardous materials.

Considerable knowledge of the practices and techniques used in law enforcement work.

Considerable knowledge of interviewing techniques, including effective methods of obtaining information from hostile or reluctant witnesses.

Considerable knowledge of methods of collection, identification and preservation of evidence.

Skill in the use of firearms and arrest tactics.

Ability to evaluate evidence from a fire scene and accurately determine its cause, origin and circumstances.

Ability to work in an environment that may include foul air, unstable structures, flammable or explosive materials, hazardous chemicals, inclement weather and other factors encountered at fire scenes.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with fire service agencies, law enforcement officials, prosecuting attorneys, other employees and the general public.

Ability to independently plan and schedule work activities to achieve established goals.

Ability to communicate clearly and to prepare detailed reports of investigation findings.

Ability to travel extensively in the performance of assigned responsibilities.

Ability to be subject to periodic on-call duty.

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The following link will provide you with general information about State of Missouri employee benefits.

View benefits

View Class Specification Document