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Philly Fire Dept. arson dog is retiring

He's the fourth dog since 1994 to be assigned to the Fire Marshal's office.

Chance, the Philadelphia Fire Department's arson dog, is retiring after more than six years on the job.

Officially known as an accelerant-detecting canine, Chance, a black lab, responded to about 900 fires during his career and searched for substances including kerosene, diesel fuel, gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, and lamp oil at two-thirds of them, the department said.

"He has a great nose," said his handler, Lt. George Werez. "He's a great asset — he really is."

"Lt. Werez and Chance have proven to be an excellent team," said Deputy Chief Harry Bannan. "They've been requested not only by the ATF for duties outside of Philadelphia, but by many other local police and fire departments."

Chance, who will soon turn 9, will continue to live with Werez as well as his replacement, a dog with which the lieutenant will soon begin six weeks of training in Virginia.

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