A firedog named Simba, who assists the London Fire Brigade, has brought murderers to justice, after finding accelerants used to cause a fatal fire in Woolwich.
The Brigade is highlighting the importance of the work of firedogs to commemorate International Dog Day.
The daily job of firedogs is to sniff out a number of accelerants, including petrol, whether burnt, evaporated or neat. Their work culminates in convictions.
In this case, Simba, a two-year-old springer spaniel successfully indicated multiple areas of the use of an accelerant.
The victim, from Sierra Leone had been visiting family, when the fire was induced deliberately.
The blaze began at 1:20 am on the 6th September 2018. Two people had been taken to hospital, however sadly, one woman was found dead at the scene.
When fire-fighters deemed the fire to be suspicious, Simba was deployed to help ascertain where the fire started and whether an accelerant was used.
“Within a matter of seconds of getting to the gatepost, which was about three metres down the path from the front door, Simba indicated that there was something there. Without Simba’s keen sense of smell, it would have taken fire investigators a lot longer to identify the areas where the accelerant was found.”
- Anton Keach, Simba’s handler
Simba’s work resulted in the conviction of two men last month. Elliot Robinson and William Smith were both sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum terms of 31 and 32 years respectively.