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Arson fighting canine passes away

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County,Prince George's County,Anne Arundel County
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(STATEWIDE) It is with deep regret that State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci announces the death of “Charlie”, he was previously one of four Accelerant Detection Canine (ADC) teams the Office of the State Fire Marshal operates. He passed away this morning, Saturday, November 25, 2017 after a sudden illness.  Charlie passed away peacefully with his partner/handler, Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal John Nelson and his family at his side.  Charlie should be remembered for all of his hard work and dedication to the field of arson detection and fire prevention. He had been recognized over the years for his outstanding work including him and Senior Deputy Nelson being awarded 2010 Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year. As a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) trained dog he also traveled far and wide on a variety of cases. It is estimated Charlie worked over 500 cases in his career.

     Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Nelson and K-9 partner Charlie were an exceptional tool used against arson in the State of Maryland. He was trained at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) canine training facility in Front Royal, Virginia.  Charlie was a member of ATF’s Accelerant Detection Canine (ADC) Class #81. Charlie successfully completed six weeks of “imprintation” training, as well as five weeks of “handler and dog” training. Canines have proven to be an invaluable tool in assisting arson investigators determining if flammable liquids were used to start a fire. Charlie was trained to find ignitable liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.  He graduated in December 2008 and retired in October 2016.

     Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Nelson is a thirteen and half year veteran of the Office of the State Fire Marshal. He has been assigned to the Southern Regional Office, consisting of Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert counties, his entire career. Upon Charlie retiring, S/DSFM Nelson accepted the responsibility of another canine and continued his career as a K-9 handler, partnering with K-9 "Zorro" in December 2016.

     “During times like this, no words can possibly express the sorrow we all feel in the loss of our beloved friend, partner and co-worker. We ask, however, as a fitting tribute that we recall those fond memories he brought to us and reflect on the many accomplishments he achieved during his life time” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci

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