Middletown arson dog finds evidence that leads to arrest of GE contractor

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Middletown Division of Fire has a new canine named Scottie that is trained to sniff out accelerants.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Middletown’s arson canine and his handler were recognized Tuesday for their efforts in the March 1 investigation of a fire at General Electric’s Evendale campus.

859 Board Up is a disaster cleanup and assistance company in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky that assists property owners with the havoc raised when facing a fire. The company has a Hometown Hero program in which Fire Investigator Chris Klug and Scottie were nominated for recognition. 859 Board Up officials held a recognition lunch at Middletown Fire Headquarters.

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According to the nomination, the Hamilton County Fire Investigation Team contacted the Middletown Division of Fire and requested the assistance of Fire Investigator Chris Klug and arson detection canine Scottie to assist at the fire scene at GE’s military administration building.

Hamilton County investigators asked if Scottie could search the area of the fire to determine if accelerants had possibly been used to start the fire. During Scottie’s search, he alerted multiple times to the presence of a petroleum product accelerant within the fire area. Samples were taken by investigators to be lab tested to confirm the substance.

Scottie was requested the next day to return for additional searching. After searching an area of cubicles, Scottie alerted on a contractor’s backpack. Investigators took the backpack as evidence and sent it to the lab for testing.

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All samples and evidence taken tested positive for gasoline, and subsequently, a suspect was charged with two counts of aggravated arson.

“K9 Scottie was an incredibly valuable asset in leading investigators to locations where gasoline had been applied and determining that the suspect had at some time come in contact with gasoline and then touched his backpack," according to the nomination. “It is this unique case, his hard-diligent work in locating evidence that we feel K9 Scottie should be nominated for Hometown Hero of the month.”

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Participating in the joint investigation were the Hamilton County Fire Investigation, the Evendale Fire Department, Evendale police, the FBI, and the Middletown Arson Task Force with Klug and Scottie.

In Scottie’s two years of service, he has assisted in many fire investigations in Middletown and the surrounding area. He is able to detect more than 15 types of petroleum/accelerants that he learned and trained for over a three-month period.

Scottie is a resource that is unique to the area as the next closest Accelerant Detection K9 is in Columbus.

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