The Bureau of Fire Investigation consists of two full-time City of Wheeling firefighters. They determine the origin and cause, and investigate the circumstances for every fire occurring within the City of Wheeling. These fire investigations require extensive photography, documentation, evidence collection, and interviewing skills.
If the cause of a fire is determined to be intentional, the investigators have law enforcement authority and may conduct a criminal investigation in conjunction with the Wheeling Police Department’s Detective Division and the Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office. These fire investigations may also include the West Virginia Office of the State Fire Marshal or Federal law enforcement agencies.
The investigators have gone through extensive college level training at the National Fire Academy, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Much of this training was taught by Special Agents employed by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who specialize in fire investigation.
In addition to conducting fire investigations, the investigators are responsible for processing all of the fire department’s incident reports for submission to the appropriate state and federal agencies. Both investigators are paramedics and certified CPR instructors.
Capt. Bernard "Buck" Davidson, Chief Investigator
Lt. Matthew Bickler, Investigator
Wheeling Fire Department
Bureau of Fire Investigations
2126 Market Street
Wheeling, WV 26003