A NEW canine investigator is set to help firefighters understand the causes of blazes.

Three-year-old Sprocker Spaniel, Fizz, is Essex County Fire and Rescue’s first ever fire investigation dog.

She will spend the next six months based at the urban search and rescue site in Lexden on a trial period and will help in cases of deliberate fire and potential arson.

The highly skilled pooch can identify some 30 flammable materials which in most cases are completely odourless to humans and is likely to become an invaluable asset.

Fizz has been trained by Essex Police and will now work with handler Graham Currie.

Chief fire officer Jo Turton said: “Introducing Fizz is a really positive step for our fire investigation process and protection work, which are both vital in making Essex a safe place.

“Fizz will help us to understand more about how fires start and help inform our work to identify trends and prevent further similar incidents happening.

“Collaboration and working more closely with partners to provide a better service for the people of Essex is one of our priorities and this is another example of how we’re trying to do just that.”