A special fire task force with Charlotte's fire department is being called one of the best in the country. The Fire Investigation Task Force is made up of fire, police, State Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators.
The team responds to every fire in the city and uses high-tech gear to investigate. The team showed Eyewitness News some of its high-tech gear, including a mobile X-ray machine. Members said the task force concept gives them a head start on cases that turn out to be arson.
"The detectives can get involved much earlier in cases when working closer together with the fire department," said Robert Klass, an arson investigator with the task force.
Nationally, the solve rate is about 17 percent for arson cases. In Charlotte, it's closer to 50 percent.
The task force has investigated about 585 fires so far in 2013. Leaders said about 214 of those were set intentionally.