The Cheektowaga Police Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) is comprised of three Police Detectives and a Detective Lieutenant. All members are NYS Certified Fire Investigators trained at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls, NY. In addition to their assigned full time criminal investigative duties, FIU Detectives must keep their certifications up to date through mandatory hours of fire investigation and yearly refresher courses. The unit is called out routinely by the town’s volunteer fire departments. When the Fire Chief of their respective district is unable to determine the cause of a fire or if they suspect Arson, they request that Police Fire Investigators respond to the scene. FIU Detectives use techniques, knowledge and equipment to determine the point of origin and the cause of any fire they respond to. Cause determination is made through photography, scene examination, scene reconstruction and the collection and submission of evidence. Evidence is submitted to the Erie County Central Police Services Lab where complex analysis is conducted. If Arson is determined to be the cause, the investigation expands to include the criminal element and unit detectives work closely with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute the responsible party.