CHICAGO, Ill—When Jay's Jewelers went up in flames yesterday, one thing was clear to the Chicago Fire Department: this was the work of an arsonist.
"We called the CPD's K-9 unit to the scene to investigate, and though we knew something sinister was behind the fire, even we weren't prepared for what Sgt. Champ uncovered," said Chris Davis, one of the first firefighters on the scene.
"Champ jumped out of his handler's SUV, sniffed a rag we'd found doused in kerosene, and then got right to work," Davis added.
"I've never seen him respond so quickly," said Champ's handler, CPD Lt. Josh Parnell.
Sgt. Champ, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois who has been on the Chicago Police Department's K-9 unit for a little over a year, has one of the best track records on the force. He's trained to sniff out explosives, weapons, flammables and biological matter. And it was just a matter of minutes before he made a groundbreaking discovery on the scene.
"Champ indicated he'd found something under a fallen beam. We removed the beam to uncover what appeared to be the charred fecal remains of another canine," said Parnell.
Champ rewarded himself for his hard work and promptly ate the fecal matter, wagging his tail and looking at his handler for affirmation of his good deed.
When pressed to confirm just how exactly this furthered their investigation into the cause of the fire, Lt. Parnell indicated this is "just part of Champ's process."
The investigation is ongoing.