Minnesota statute (Minn. Stat.§ 299F.04, Subd. 1) mandates the Fire Department shall investigate all fires that involve the destruction of or damage to property exceeding $100.00. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal is also required to be involved in the investigation if special criteria occur. This includes any fatal fires or suspected arson fires. This also included any fires in occupancies inspected by the State Fire Marshal Division.
A fire or explosion investigation is a complex endeavor involving skill, technology knowledge and science. The compilation of factual data, as well as an analysis of those facts, should be accomplished objectively, truthfully, and without expectation bias, preconception, or prejudice. The basic methodology of the fire investigation should rely on the use of a systematic approach and attention to all relevant details. The use of a systematic approach often will uncover new factual data for analysis, which may require previous conclusions to be re-evaluated. With few exceptions, the proper methodology for a fire or explosion investigation is to first determine and establish the origin(s), then investigate the cause: circumstances, conditions, or agencies that brought the ignition source, fuel, and oxidant together.
The Red Wing Fire Department Fire Marshal and/or Fire Inspector is contacted to perform the investigation. In their absence, the State Fire Marshal Office may be contacted for assistance in performing the investigation.
The Fire Marshal and Fire Inspector have completed specialized training in fire investigation and work closely with investigators from the State Fire Marshal Division and the Red Wing Police Department in many cases. The Fire Marshal and Fire Inspector are also active members of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI).