Effingham County hires fire investigator - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Effingham County hires fire investigator

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Investigator Dan Mealor, right, was introduced on Wednesday. Investigator Dan Mealor, right, was introduced on Wednesday.

The Effingham County Sheriff's Office has hired a full time fire investigator who is now assigned to the Effingham County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division.

Investigator Dan Mealor was hired on July 6. Mealor was a 10-year veteran with the State Fire Marshal's Office prior to joining the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.

"I just wanted to come here on more of a local level instead of running all over southeast Georgia," said Mealor.

"It was a need. We have seen and continue to get more and more arson cases," said Effingham County Sheriff, Jimmy McDuffie.

"Investigator Mealor is one of the highest trained Fire Investigators in the state and holds several credentials, to include a degree in Fire Science, State certified Fire Investigator, State certified law enforcement officer, criminal investigations, crime scene investigations, post blast investigations, state certified firefighter and P.O.S.T general and firearms instructor," Sheriff's spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.

Mealor, who has investigated over 1,000 fires, was also the training officer for the State Fire Marshal's Office for the past five years.

He has been the lead investigator on several major fire incidents, including the Imperial Sugar incident and the Georgia Ports Authority fire. He currently has seven open and active arson cases in Effingham County.

"I will be the one doing all the follow up. I will be going out and interviewing the neighbors and talking with the victims," said Mealor. "I will be trying to find the suspects. I will have the case from start to finish."

The new job will be funded equally by both the sheriff's office and the fire department.

"We can reduce the number of arsons that reduces the insurance claims that are paid out. So, that should reduce people's insurance premiums," said Mealor.

If you have any information about the current arson cases in Effingham County call 1.800.282.5804 or 912.754.3449

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