New York City Fire Department

Bureau of Fire Investigation

Bureau Service Mission

Chief Fire Marshal Robert G. Byrnes

The Bureau of Fire Investigation reports directly to the New York City Fire Commissioner.

The Bureau of Fire Investigation (BFI) under the direction of the Chief Fire Marshal is responsible for investigating the Origin and Cause of all complex, fatal and suspicious fires. The Bureau also performs criminal investigations into all arsons and fire-related crimes, as well as enforcing administrative law.

The Bureau is empowered by mandate of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York effective May 20, 1970, to have New York City Fire Marshals officially act with police powers that include the ability to conduct criminal investigations, issue subpoenas, as well as authority to administer legal oaths and affirmations.

One of BFI’s principal service missions is to indentify citywide fire patterns and trends, which are used by the Department to further public fire safety awareness through the FDNY Office of Fire Safety Education, as well as the effective implementation of fire prevention inspections and fire code enforcement by the FDNY Bureau of Fire Prevention.
In addition to its investigative responsibilities, BFI acts as the Department’s liaison to other law enforcement agencies. BFI also provides security protection for FDNY critical infrastructure, property and personnel.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Investigate and determine origin and cause of fires
  • Fire scene/witnesses interviewing techniques
  • Crime scene processing
  • Fire/crime scene photography
  • Evidence collection
  • Statement analysis
  • Dignitary Protection
  • Strategic site protection

Expanded Post-9/11 Responsibilities:
In the aftermath of September 11th 2001, the Bureau of Fire Investigation assumed additional responsibilities included as part of its Strategic Mission within the Fire Department. Critical among these services are to provide, enhance and augment the security and safety needs of all FDNY critical locations and personnel, including:

  • Target Hardening
  • Personal Protection
  • Expanded Partnerships with various Municipal, State and Federal agencies
  • Advanced Training
  • New York State Counter-Terrorism Network
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