New York City Fire Department

Bureau of Fire Investigation

Special Units

Chief Fire Marshal Robert G. Byrnes

TIn order to best carry out its service mission to investigate the Origin and Cause of all complex, fatal and suspicious fires and to conduct criminal investigations into all arsons and fire-related crimes, the Bureau of Fire Investigation has several units within its mandated, citywide operations that are designed, staffed and technically equipped to best conduct investigations. BFI responsibilities include both investigations conducted exclusively by and within the New York City Fire Department jurisdiction, and investigations jointly conducted in association with other City, State and Federal Law Enforcement agencies.

Major Units:

  • BFI Central Command
  • BFI Citywide North Command
  • BFI Citywide South Command

Specialized Units:

  • Citywide Special Investigations Unit
  • Borough-based Special Investigations Units
  • Fireworks Enforcement Task Force
  • Joint Arson Task Force (JATF)
  • Joint Terrorist Task Force (FBI)
  • Corrections Enforcement Unit
  • Burn Unit
  • Juvenile Unit
  • Training Unit
  • Fire Science Unit
  • Confidential Investigations Unit

Responsibilities:
Major Units:

  • BFI Central Command located at FDNY Headquarters is responsible for all elements of BFI citywide and borough level operations. It is the central management wing of the Bureau. It houses the Chief Fire Marshal and the Assistant Chief Fire Marshal. The Command is directly reports directly to the NYC Fire Commissioner.
  • BFI Citywide North Command is the primary investigative arm of the BFI, responsible for the day-to-day fire investigations in Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan north of 110th Street. It is comprised of six individual squads staffed with both several Fire Marshals and and Supervising Fire Marshal. Available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 52 weeks a year.
  • BFI Citywide South Command is the primary investigative arm of the BFI, responsible for the day-to-day fire investigations in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan south of 110th Street. It is comprised of six individual squads staffed with both several Fire Marshals and and Supervising Fire Marshal. Available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 52 weeks a year.

Specialized Units:

  • BFI Special Investigations Command conducts all complex and protracted investigations citywide. It can be called into to investigate any special needs investigation throughout the five boroughs. Among its many tasks are: investigate all vehicle fires, work closely with the NYPD and other investigatory Federal agencies, conduct all investigations of serious injuries and/or fatalities involving FDNY members (Firefighters/EMS personnel).
  • BFI Fireworks Task Force investigates the illegal sale, distribution and use of Fireworks. The unit works closely with the NYPD to mitigate the illegal use of Fireworks citywide year-round, with particular focus on associated activity before annual July 4th celebrations.
  • BFI Fire Scene Unit responds to and assists investigators in documenting fire scenes and evidence collection.
  • Technical Services Unit provides technical assistance for electronic surveillance, video and audio recoding. Responds citywide with specially equipped BFI vehicles.
  • Youth Task Force/JFIP Program provides education and intervention for youths who are involved with fire play. The Juvenile Fire Setters Intervention Program (JFIP) receives referrals from field investigators, Family Court and outside health care professionals

Burn Investigation Unit investigates all burn injuries as mandated by New York State law; receives referrals and notifications from the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

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