Longview Gets First Arson Dog

Arson costs millions of dollars in damage every year... and leaves numerous unsolved cases for fire departments. But Longview hopes a new officer on the job will solve the arson problem.

Tori, the arson dog.

"She's able to help us determine where to take our best samples in a fire scene that was caused intentionally by arsonists" says handler Jimmy Purcell of the Longview Fire Department. Tori is Longview's first ever arson dog. Previously fire marshals had to wait days even weeks to get an excellerant sniffing dog from other Texas departments.  But no more.

"This will save us a tremendous amount of time as far as digging through fires to determine points of origin" said Longview Assistant Fire Marshal Mark Moore. Working through State Farm Insurance, the department has invested months in training Tori to recognize materials that ignite fires, and she gave a demonstration of her abilities in front of a crowd at Teague Park Saturday.

And Tori seems to love what she does, working for treats or just a good stick to chew on. And firefighters hope she will make the difference in catching arsonists in East Texas.

Tori and her new partner firefighter Jimmy Purcell trained for numerous weeks at a special training center in Maine.

Bob Hallmark reporting.