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Arson Dog Teams

December 21, 2020

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is welcoming three new members to its team — and they’re all dogs.

K9 Phantom, K9 Gunny, and K9 PJ are the newest accelerant detection canines, also called arson dogs, to investigate suspicious fires in the state.

Officials said these dogs are highly trained to sniff out evidence at fire scenes.

The arson dogs will work with their human handler to help identify the cause of home or business fires, assist in cold crime cases, and uncover possible evidence in homicides.

K9 Phantom will work with Special Agent Michael Kuban to investigate fires in Will, Kane, and DuPage County. K9 Phantom, a 2-year-old male yellow Labrador retriever, is the first arson dog for Kuban.

K9 Gunny and Special Agent Kenny Arnold will investigate fires in Williamson County and the surrounding area. K9 Gunny is 2-and-a-half years old and is a male yellow Labrador retriever. He is the third canine partner for Arnold, replacing his recently retired partner, K9 Dollar.

K9 PJ is teaming up with Special Agent Jeff Pride to investigate fires in Marion County and the surrounding area. K9 PJ is a 2-year-old male yellow Labrador retriever. He is the fourth arson dog for Pride, replacing his recently retired partner, K9 Gemma.

Currently, Illinois has six certified arson dog teams in service.

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