Fire Investigations


  1. FIRE INVESTIGATION AND ARSON TASK FORCE
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the Fire Department to resolve matters concerning investigations of suspicious fires/situations within the Town of Greenville.

  1. The Greenville Fire Department is continuously striving to provide the Town of Greenville with the finest fire services possible. To that end, the Fire Department has established a task force; The Greenville Fire Task Force, for the purpose of investigating any and all fires including those determined to be intentionally set or attempted to be set for an illegal purpose. Members of this task force are:
  2.   Fire Chief, or his designee.

Fire Department investigation squad members

2.   SUPPORT AGENCIES THAT MAY BE CALLED FOR ASSISTANCE:

  • Building Inspectors.
  • State of Wisconsin Fire Marshall, or his designee.
  • Insurance investigators.
  • Social Services employees.
  • District Attorney's Office.
  • Wisconsin Dept. of Criminal Justice investigators.
  • Outagamie Sheriff’s Department 


B. The purpose of the task force is to use the Fire Department investigative responsibilities for determining the cause, origin and future prevention of a fire. This effort will also help in the development of a suspect and possible arrest(s) in the event of an intentionally set fire.
C. It is the responsibility of the Greenville Fire Department to establish the cause and origin therefore, the task force is directed under the command of the Fire Chief, or his designee.
D. The task force will respond to all suspicious (fires that do not have an obvious or immediate cause or origin) or incendiary fires. Additionally, the task force will respond to all fires involving:

  1. An incident in which the initial origin and cause suggests the possibility of   incendiaries.
  2. There are fire related deaths or injuries.
  3. Fire damage may exceed $25,000.00
  4. Any incident involving fraud, arson, or similar circumstances that may require specialized follow-up investigation

    E. Fire scene shall be immediately protected with barrier tape and guarded with entry restricted to all unauthorized personnel until investigation team has completed operations. It shall be the responsibility of the Incident Commander, or his designee, to maintain control of the fire scene.

    F. After a preliminary investigation at the fire scene, the Fire Chief, or designee, will request the services of other task force members or support agency members as he/she deems appropriate. Task force members responding to the fire scene will report to and function under the direction of the appointed Incident Commander, usually the Fire Chief.

    G. The ultimate goal of a thorough and complete follow-up investigation is to identify the origin and cause of the fire, if found to be incendiary, to establish a motive for the fire, and to submit a prosecutable case to the District Attorney's Office for the issuance of criminal charges.

    H. Information released to the news media must be authorized by the Incident Commander, or his designee. The basic facts of the investigation should not be released until the investigation is complete, and if applicable, for an intentionally set fire, a person has been arrested and formally charged in court.

    I. A complete and comprehensive follow-up investigation will be conducted under the direction of the Incident Commander. All investigative reports generated by the Fire Department will be shared with agencies except where certain information is prohibited by Wisconsin Statutes.

    J. The Incident Commander will schedule a meeting of the task force members within an appropriate amount of time from the initial fire scene response for the purpose of exchanging information and investigative reports generated by participating agencies. The Incident Commander will further coordinate future follow-up investigation to be conducted by the task force.

    K. At the conclusion of the investigation, the task force members shall again meet to critique the investigation. This critique is meant to assist members in discovering problems and to ensure that working techniques continue to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the task force.