HFD's newest four-legged recruit to sniff out suspicious fires

HFD's newest four-legged recruit to sniff out suspicious fires
Kukui, HFD's newest recruit, is a highly-trained arson dog. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HFD's newest recruit is a highly-trained arson dog. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HFD's newest recruit is a highly-trained arson dog. (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu fire investigators have a new tool at their disposal when investigating arson and other suspicious fires in the form of a highly-trained arson dog.

Kukui is a 3-year-old golden lab that started working this month and is only the second working fire dog in the state.

Kukui and her trainer Michael Carter spent a month training in Maine to detect accelerants at the scene of a fire, or on a suspect.

"Every investigator in the country would agree it's the best tool there is out there," said Carter.

Kukui isn't like most service animals. Along with her duties during investigations, she will be taken to schools and work as a public relations representative for the fire department.

"(She's) very sweet, very gentle, nice to all animals. She's nice to everybody," added Carter.

Of the 100-150 structure fires HFD responds to every year, each one has to be investigated.

"Now with Kukui we can send her in right in the beginning and she can make a quick determination of whether we should be looking at the case as being arson or not," said Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves.

The training for Kukui and her handler were all paid for by State Farm Insurance, who also donated several Canary home monitoring systems to HFD members.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.