About Fire Investigations

If a fire cannot be prevented, a clear cause must be determined.

The ability to examine a fire scene and reconstruct the sequence of events that took place is part:

  • Skills – used to examine burn patterns and characteristics.
  • Science - used to analyze materials that burned or may have failed.

When put together, a clear picture of how a fire started usually begins to take shape. It is the skilled fire investigator that can put these two together to know who, what, how, and when a fire started.

Knowing how a fire started can provide valuable information that can lead to:

  • Processes that we use daily
    • The public can be educated on how best to prevent similar fires in the future.
  • Safer products
    • Defective products can be recalled.


  • Account for tens of thousands of fires annual
  • Intentionally set fires

If arson is suspected, Chesterfield Fire & EMS Fire Marshal's team up with Chesterfield Police Detectives to solve the crime.

Special Units

Fire Marshal's Investigation Unit - for complex incidents, a specially equipped van, responds to the scene. The equipment contained in this unit can:

  • Conduct Field Tests and Sampling
  • Collect Evidence
  • Document Scene

Central Virginia Arson Task Force - Participating jurisdictions are available to provide support and technical assistance to other member jurisdictions as needed.

Report Arson

If you know of a suspected arson fire in Chesterfield County, email the Fire Life & Safety Division, call 804-748-1426 or contact Chesterfield County / Colonial Heights Crime Solvers.

Fire Incident Reports

You can call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 804-748-1426 to obtain a copy of a report. There is a $5 fee for the report and you may obtain it by mail or in person. You can make your check payable to Chesterfield Fire and EMS. Include the date and location of incident and send your payment to:

Chesterfield Fire Marshal’s Office
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832

To pay in person, come to our office Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at:

9800 Government Center Parkway
2nd Floor
Chesterfield, VA 23832