(WKTV) - Five rescue dogs -- including one from the Herkimer County Humane Society -- are in Utica as part of an eight-week training course with the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
On Friday, during week five of the training, the dogs were lifted in the bucket of a fire truck and entered the burned-out apartment of the Michael Walsh apartments on Gray Avenue. The goal is to get the dogs familiar with the equipment so they won't be distracted when they search for possible accelerants.
"Depending on the scenario, we are requested a couple hundred times a year throughout New York state," said William McGovern, deputy chief of the investigation unit of the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. "In this class, we are training two dogs for our own agency."
The other dogs will be assigned to the Oswego County Fire Co-ordinators Office, the Erie County Sheriff's and a Canadian fire department.
No cause has yet been determined in the Monday-morning fire at the Michael Walsh Apartments.