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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Fire Investigation


When the office of the State Fire Marshal was established in 1905, one of its primary functions was the investigation of the origin and cause of fires. Although Minnesota Statute 299F.04 assigns the responsibility for determining the origin and cause of fires to the local fire chief, that function remains a high priority for the division to this day.

Fire investigator at a scene.

Do I need to contact the State Fire Marshal Division?

There are several circumstances under which you must contact the State Fire Marshal Division for an investigation. This chart walks you through the questions you need to ask when you have a fire to determine whether or not you should contact the Duty Officer to get in touch with one of our investigators. 

How to request an investigator

Investigation assistance may be requested by local fire service or law enforcement personnel. Investigators will not be dispatched when requests are received from private citizens or insurance companies.
To request assistance of a fire investigator, contact the Minnesota State Duty Officer:
  • Twin Cities Metro Area 651- 649-5451
  • Greater Minnesota 800-422-0798

Find an investigator in your area by using the State Fire Marshal Division's Interactive mapping tool.

Request a fire investigation report​.

Resources for fire service agencies

​​Arson Tip Hotline

If you have information that will aid in the apprehension of arsonists, contact the Arson hotline at 1-800-723-2020. Rewards of up to $1,000 are offered for information leading to the identification of persons responsible. 

Major Incident Investigation Trailers

The major incident investigation trailers are available for response to incidents such as multiple fatality / injury fires, large dollar-loss fire, and major pipeline incidents in which SFM staff are involved in the response and investigation.

The command area provides space for interviews, consultations and plan reviews, and includes a small refrigerator, microwave, computer and communications equipment. It is also used to support the State Fire Marshal's fire/arson investigation training program.

A variety of equipment is available on the truck, including:

  • Small gas powered generators
  • Exhaust fans
  • Lighting equipment and extension cords
  • Assorted shovels, spades, rakes, brooms and buckets
  • Hand tools
  • Sifting screens
  • Air monitoring equipment
  • Ladders - roof ladder, step ladder, folding ladder
  • Evidence collection supplies
  • Communications and computer equipment
  • Electric chain saws
  • LP heaters