EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSWV Fire Marshals Use National Fire Database To Investigate Blazes
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Oct. 22, 2013 8:33 AM EDT
Updated: Oct. 22, 2013 9:48 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A new national fire database just put into use by the West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office is helping investigate tragedies like the fire that killed two young children Monday in Logan County.
The state Fire Marshal's Office is the first agency in the Mountain State to start using a computer system called "BATS," which stands for bomb, arson, tracking system.
The system is used to enter information about all fires, not just ones that are intentionally set.
Using the tool, investigators can search for similarities between fires, helping them with fire prevention measures and potentially even product recalls.
"If I want to know how many fires I've had in Logan County that have been accidental and caused by a particular toaster, we can go in here and pull that up and it'll tell us," West Virginia Assistant State Fire Marshal Shawn Alderman said.
The system also includes names of any person involved in a fire investigation, including victims, suspects and witnesses. If any of those names have been entered before for any reason, they will be flagged if they are ever entered again.
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