One of the most important parts of the ATF's investigation teams is accelerant sniffing K-9 units.
Meridian's fire department has one of only 69 of those dogs nationwide. "Shroeder" is used to investigate suspicious fires. These specially-trained dogs can smell even the smallest drop of more than 1,500 fire-starting accelerants.
And local fire officials say the animals play a big role in solving these cases.
"It will be a big key," said Vince Vincent of the Meridian arson task force. "And it cuts down on a lot of man hours that they're using to process those scenes by going straight to the area they need to go to."
Meridian's dog, Schroeder, has not been used so far in the Alabama fires investigation, but the ATF has an agreement with the fire department to use him if the need arises.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.