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The Lima Fire Department includes a full-time Arson Bureau designed to aid in determining the cause and origin of all fires, as well as the investigation and prosecution of the crime of arson. The Bureau consists of one investigator, who is on call 24-hours a day, to respond to the fire scene as quickly as possible. Also available are assisting personnel, trained in arson investigation, that are responding firefighters to the scene. They help preserve the scene and aid in the investigation.
History of the Arson Bureau
The Arson Bureau for the Lima Fire Department began in 1973 on a $30,000 federal grant through the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (L.E.A.A.) and the efforts of then Platoon Chief Rollin Kerzee. By March of 1974, Chief Kerzee had the Bureau in full swing with as many as four firefighters trained to help him with the investigations. When Chief Kerzee returned to his duties as a fire officer, Investigator Ron Straker took over as head of the Bureau. Investigator Albert Truesdale was next to handle the job on the retirement of Straker.
Jon Jenkins is currently assigned as Investigator, taking over after the retirement of Al Truesdale in 1994. Appointed to the department in 1986, he had 8 years of firefighting experience before his promotion to the Investigator's position. Investigator Jenkins is a graduate of the Ohio Police Academy in 1996 and commissioned through the Lima Police Department. All personnel trained to do investigations through the Arson Bureau receive that training at the Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Protection of lives and property, along with upholding the law are of first and foremost importance in the Arson Bureau, as it is with the entire Lima Fire Department. If this office can be of service, please feel free to contact them at (419) 221-5163.