A well-trained nose: HFD’s ‘Eve’ can sniff out accelerant at the scene of a house fire

The Honolulu Fire Department officially swore in the newest member of its team Tuesday - the state’s only accelerant detection canine.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:35 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:14 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Fire Department officially swore in the newest member of its team Tuesday.

And not only is she the cutest member of the department, she’s also highly-trained.

Eve, a yellow Labrador retriever, joins HFD as the state’s only accelerant detection canine.

The 2-year-old dog has an astute ability to uncover what starts a fire.

“Evidence can be gasoline, oil, or other types of ignitable liquids,” said HFD chief Sheldon Hao. “Those highly refined skills and disciplines are why we are very fortunate to welcome Eve into our department.”

Eve comes to the department after graduating from a mainland academy that included more than 200 hours of extensive training.

Certified fire investigator and 14-year HFD veteran Micah Ancheta is Eve’s handler and says the specialized training is essential at large scenes.

“What would take an investigator hours and days to go through a fire scene to be meticulous, to not destroy any potential evidence, that’s a big window,” Ancheta said. “It takes a while. When you have a dog like this, that specializes in accelerant detection, it could take Eve and I half the time or less.”

Since coming to Hawaii in May, Eve has already responded to several fires and the plan is for her and Ancheta to help other fire departments statewide if needed.

“She’s a part of the family,” Ancheta said. “It was a big change, more responsibility, but it’s great, it’s wonderful. I start my day off well. I end it well because of her.”

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