Investigators get help from Cora the fire department dog


The Denver Fire Department doesn’t have new information on the three-alarm fire that ravaged two slot-home structures under construction early Thursday morning, but they hoped a very good girl named Cora could sniff out some leads.

When the charred buildings near 20th Avenue and Federal Boulevard were deemed safe for fire investigators to occupy, 2-year-old black lab Cora was on the case.

The pup’s tool of choice? Her nose, of course.

Cora is an accelerant-sniffing dog trained to help fire investigators figure out what sparked a blaze.

“If there was an arsonist, and they used gasoline, then we might be able to better locate where that gasoline was poured,” Denver Fire Department spokesman Greg Pixley said. “Or if there was a malfunction with some other type of flammable liquid, that dog would help us make a determination that there was something there that shouldn’t have been.”

Pixley stressed that no potential cause of the fire could be ruled out — including arson.

“We have to approach every fire assuming the worst and rule out those questions,” he said. “We’re going to investigate every indication and every clue that we can find that will help make a determination of what caused the fire.”

The overnight blaze drew more than 100 firefighters from three Denver fire stations and about 30 fire engines to battle the flames.

No one was injured, but four people were evacuated from one nearby house. It took around three hours to extinguish the fire that started around 2 a.m. and quickly engulfed the seven-unit buildings at 1920 and 1930 Grove St.

Both of the slot-home structures — two wood-frame stories built on a concrete first floor — were a total loss, according to the fire department. Slot homes are sideways oriented town homes on smaller lots.

Source : Denver Post