A quick way to reach the Investigation division, is by sending an email to osfminv@ks.gov
Arson Hotline

Investigation

The Fire Investigation Division is charged with determining the origin and cause of fires throughout the State.  Fire investigators also serve as instructors for local fire departments and law enforcement agencies, collect evidence at fire scenes, collaborate with other state and federal agencies, conduct criminal investigations and provide public education.

Most Kansas fire departments and law enforcement agencies do not have a certified fire investigator on staff, and they will request our assistance when they suspect a fire had an incendiary cause, when fatality or serious injury occurs, and when property damage is severe.

When a determination is made that a fire was caused by arson, a careful and complete investigation will follow. In cooperation with local law enforcement officials and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, our investigators will completely evaluate the fire scene for evidence and conduct interviews.

Arson is a complex crime, sometimes committed as part of an insurance fraud; sometimes committed to conceal other crimes such as burglary, embezzlement or even homicide.

Fire Investigators with the OSFM are sworn law enforcement officers and carry out all aspects of criminal investigations, including the arrest and conviction of arsonists. The Investigation Division conducts polygraph examinations in relation to these criminal investigations.

The Investigation Division maintains investigative files and databases for investigations and both explosive and fireworks licensing. The division utilizes the NCIC system for background checks on all explosive and fireworks licensing applications. The Investigation Division works and cooperates with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in reference to investigations, data sharing, and licensing.

Fire Investigations

The Investigation Division provides experienced fire investigators to assist local fire departments and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires and explosions. This assistance is provided when a request is made by the local jurisdiction. Our fire investigators conduct criminal investigations when the incident is determined to be criminal in nature, such as arson.

This team also certifies fire investigators for local fire departments. This certification allows investigators to have law enforcement authority when conducting fire investigations. There are currently two certification levels: CFI I and CFI II.

Explosives and Fireworks

The Investigation Division deals with explosive and fireworks permits for the State of Kansas. Fire investigators are assigned to conducting storage site inspections and complaint-driven civil and criminal investigations. The investigators respond to pre- and post-blast incidents. Explosive safety, awareness, and investigative classes are conducted for both the public safety community and the private explosive industry.

Investigation News

Office of the State Fire Marshal Announces Temporary Rules & Regulations for the Explosives Industry in Kansas

User Not Found | Jun 28, 2013

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is pleased to announce the adoption of temporary rules and regulations which will restore the agency’s oversight and ability to regulate the Explosive industry in Kansas. These temporary rules and regulations will be in place until the state legislature adopts permanent rules and regulations during the next legislative session.

A past clerical error removed most State Fire Marshal rules and regulations pertaining to the explosive industry and, therefore, the OSFM did not have statutory authority to issue user or blaster permits. As of March 7, 2013, the OSFM discontinued issuing user or blaster permits for the explosive industry and announced that state user permits would no longer be required in order to obtain an explosives storage permit.

With the need to know where and when all explosives in the state are being made, sold, used, and stored, the office of the Kansas Attorney General advised that the most prudent way to correct the oversight would be to adopt new temporary rules and regulations until permanent rules and regulations could be adopted through the official state process.

“I believe that in the current times we live in, these temporary and future permanent rules and regulations are critical to the safety of those not only in the industry but to the citizens of Kansas and the country,” said Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal.

The permanent rules and regulations have been approved by the Department of Administration and the Attorney General’s Office and are scheduled for a public hearing on September 11, 2013.  These rules and regulations will provide the OSFM and the industry a better picture of how many manufacturers, users (distributors, wholesalers), blasters, and storage sites are actually operating in the state. Current records show that there may be as many as three manufacturers, 178 users, 1,412 blasters, and 201 storage sites operating in the state.