City of Madison Logo
Madison Fire Department
Committed to recruiting and retaining a qualified, diverse, inclusive and safe fire workforce.
Image: Fire Investigation

Fire / ARSON Investigation Division

The City of Madison Fire Department Fire/Arson Investigation Division is comprised of four (4) full-time Fire/Arson Investigators and five (5) Division/Operation Captains who respond to investigate the origin, cause, and circumstances surrounding fires and explosions occurring in the City of Madison, as mandated by WI § 165.11 (1) and Madison General Ordinance 6.16.

Each member of the Fire/Arson Investigation Division is a highly-skilled, aggressive investigator who actively pursues people who engage in starting fires and furthermore, identifies products that have caused fires with the objective of preventing injuries and property damage.

Each member of the MFD Fire/Arson Investigation Division rotates on-call responsibilities, which provides daily coverage to respond to requests from Chiefs and Company Fire Officers while on location.

Fire/Arson investigation is a complicated endeavor that requires a coordinated effort between the Madison Fire Department and the Madison Police Department. This cooperative agreement started in 1976 with the creation of the joint Fire/Police Fire/Arson Investigation Team, which has improved our fire investigation, arson detection, and arson investigation capabilities. Currently, the Madison Police Department has two (2) Lieutenants, one (1) Detective/Sergeant, ten (10) Detectives, and three (3) Investigators, all of whom receive additional training in determining the origin, cause, and circumstances surrounding fires and explosions. These members are called upon to help the MFD Fire/Arson Investigator when circumstances surrounding a fire or explosion require additional assistance.

MFD also has a close working relationship with the Dane County District Attorney's Office, the Dane County Coroner's Office, the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation-State Fire Marshal's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and other local law enforcement agencies and fire departments within Dane County.

All nine (9) MFD Fire/Arson Investigators are members of the Wisconsin Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators, the International Chapter of the IAAI, and the Dane County Arson Response Initiative (DCARI).


Inv. I Captain Todd Steyer (608) 266-4488
Inv. II Richard O. Lavold, IAAI-FIT (608) 266-4488
Inv. II Pete Trilling (608) 266-4488
Inv. I Mike Egan (608) 266-4488

Pre-employment Background Investigations

City of Madison Fire / Arson Investigators conduct pre-employment background investigations for all new prospective members of the department. A comprehensive background investigation takes an estimated 10 - 15 hours per applicant due to the thorough civil and criminal review.

Do You Have Information on a Fire/Arson?
Fire/Arson Investigation Unit Banner - (608) 266-4488
Image: Madison Area Crime Stoppers Banner - (608) 266-6014
Calls Can Remain Anonymous