TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – On Thursday the State Fire Marshal's Office is holding an arson seminar for local prosecutors and judges. The goal is to learn more about how arson is investigated so authorities can better prosecute people who commit the crime.
Investigators with the fire marshal's office will explain evidence collection and how they determine whether a fire is sparked by an arsonist. They also will address how the office brings a case to court to prove arson. People in attendance will get the chance to see a K-9 track down accelerants.
The idea is to make officials in the judicial system more comfortable with these types of investigations to increase successful prosecution. There are arrests in less than 10 percent of arson cases across the country.
"There's a myth that we can't prove it, that fire destroys the evidence and the more successful arrests and prosecutions we get, hopefully the more deterrent we'll have that fire is not the way to do this and we should avoid that crime," said Tim Spradlin, chief investigator for Ohio's fire marshal's office.
The seminar will last all day Thursday. It is one of two seminars held in the state each year.
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