By Conor McCue

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Thanks to a donation from a local organization, Arvada firefighters now have access to 360 degree camera. It has six lenses instead of one, and can take a picture of an entire room.

(credit: CBS)

The future is here for Arvada Fire — a camera that allows investigators to virtually step back into the scene of a fire.

Deputy Fire Marshal Scott Plumer is the man who will be using this new 360 camera all of the time. During any investigation, he can bring the camera along, take incredibly detailed 3D photos, bring it all back to the department, walk through the exact scene and see what happened.

“So we were able to see that the fire started on the stovetop and spread to the microwave and cabinets above and had this, we call it a radial pattern,” Plumer showed CBS4 during a demonstration.

(credit: CBS)

It’s all thanks to Friends of Arvada Fire, an organization focused on fundraising for equipment that can help the department. President Sue Steward, who has helped the organization raise funds for a number of different pieces of equipment, said this time it was a “no brainer.”

“We feel like it’s not just going to provide that investigative tool, but also provide the educational tool, not just for the citizens, but also for the firefighters,” Steward said.

One case Plumer wishes he had this tool for is the 2016 fire at home owned by Parker Personal Care Homes. The fire killed three people, and a tool such as this could have helped in the courtroom.

A deadly house fire in Arvada in May 2016 (credit: CBS)

“We’re able to show the jury exactly what the fire looked like. This is what I’m talking about on the front door, back door, this is where we found this piece of evidence, this is where we didn’t find any evidence, and here’s where there’s something missing that maybe should’ve been there,” Plumer said. “So, we can piece the scene together 3D for them.”

(credit: CBS)

Fire marshals will also use the camera during the construction of new buildings. That way they can see hazards and code violations before it’s too late.

Fire investigators went through extensive training and have already used the camera several times.

Conor McCue


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