The Tampa Fire Marshal's Office, through City Charter, is responsible for the investigation of cause and origin of fires and the mitigation of arson cases. The Fire Investigation Division investigates arson cases for the Fire Marshal in the City of Tampa. The Fire Investigation Division has five investigators: three on 24-hour shifts and two on a 40-hour work week. An investigator is available any time of the day.
Fire investigators for the City of Tampa are required to be State Certified Firefighters, State Certified Fire Safety Inspectors, and must have attended the police academy. A fire investigator responds to all fires in the City of Tampa where the cause is arson, suspicious, undetermined or when there has been a death or serious injury in a fire. During a fire investigation the investigator is required to photograph the scene, collect evidence, and interview witnesses, victims and owners.
The investigators also perform after hours fire safety inspections and cite fire lane violations when needed.
The investigators are also members of the Tampa Arson Task Force. The Arson Task Force comprises representatives from the Tampa Fire Marshals Office, the Tampa Police Department, The State Fire Marshal's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office. The Arson Task Force is activated whenever there is a death or serious injury caused by a fire or following occurrences of fires of such magnitude or importance that the investigation crosses jurisdictional lines.