TEMPLE, TX — A retired Temple Fire and Rescue Accelerant Detection K9 died on Friday.
According to Temple Fire and Rescue, Torch, 9, died following a long illness.
The black Labrador Retriever was a rescue dog from around the Austin area. He joined the department in May 2012 when he was 2 years old.
Torch went through training for about four months to detect accelerants like gas, diesel, lighter fluid and paint thinner.
His handler Jonathan Christian spent two weeks in school at Cedar Park working and learning to be Torch's handler.
Torch lived with the Christian family and traveled with him to work.
Torch assisted Temple Fire investigators at the scene of the fire by quickly identifying the presence of accelerants. He identified the area and narrowed it down when investigators removed samples to send to the lab.
Funding to purchase Torch was provided by an anonymous donor and the Public Safety Advisory Board.
Officials said he was a gentle dog and enjoyed being with people.
"He was the recipient of much love and affection from both firefighters and visitors to the fire station," said officials.
Torch was seven when he retired in October 2017. He continued to live with the Christian family until his death.
Officials said Torch will be missed.
"Torch, thanks for being part of the Temple Fire & Rescue family. Here’s hoping you have unlimited play time and your favorite toy is always close by."