Since its inception in October 2000 the task force has averaged over 25 call outs per year. By utilizing the scientific method to investigate and determine the origin and cause of the call out, approximately 30% of those call outs result in being ruled as incendiary. Of the cases presented to the State's Attorney's Office by the task force, every case has resulted in a successful prosecution.
The Fire Investigation Task Force is a management system that develops and implements strategies to investigate and prosecute responsible individuals. Its concept is simple; mobilize public and private resources, coordinate responsibilities and integrate the efforts of agencies, groups and persons who are involved or should be involved in such an organized strategy.
The Kane County Fire Investigation Task Force works closely with all fire and law enforcement agencies within Kane County. When called to do so, the Task Force assists and/or augments a fire investigation as directed by the Incident Commander at the scene.
The task force is divided into a North Team and a South Team with approximately twenty-five individuals per team. A Task Force Commander or Team Leader will assign a Lead Investigator, Fire Investigator, Police Investigator and an Evidence Technician to each incident. It is preferred that each member be a Certified Fire Investigator with cross-training and cross-designation preferred.
- Fires or explosions involving fatalities or seriously injured persons.
- Commercial and mercantile building fires or explosions occurring when buildings or establishments are closed.
- Fires or explosions in vacant buildings.
- Fires or explosions in buildings scheduled to be demolished or sold.
- Fires with clearly suspicious circumstances such as a non-operating or disabled fire sprinkler system, signs of forced entry, unsecured windows or doors, apparent multiple fires and serial fires.
- Fires appearing to involve the use of accelerants.
- Repeated fires at the same location or a series of fires which indicate a patter of incendiary activity.
- Fire or law enforcement agencies with limited investigative resources.
- The Task Force will only respond to vehicle fires when when it involves a fatality or it is a high value motor vehicle, i.e. tractor, mobile home, heavy construction equipment.
- The Task Force will not respond to malicious mischief fires or other fires of a minor nature unless it is clearly suspicious or if there is juvenile involvement. The Fire Chief or Incident Commander will determine if there are exceptional circumstances.
- Further follow-up investigation may be conducted if desired by the Incident Commander, local police, ATF or the Task Force Commander.