Asheville Fire investigators awarded FEMA grant for tools and protective equipment

fire rubble
Rubble from the June 19 at 360 Hilliard Ave. The location is the site of an affordable housing development under construction and was slated to open later this year.


Asheville Fire investigators will have more tools to dig into debris to determine the origin and cause of fires under a FEMA grant accepted by Asheville City Council during their Sept. 22 meeting.


The FEMA’s Fire Prevention & Safety Grant will provide specialized equipment for AFD’s Fire Marshal investigators, such as mobile software for documentation (iPads), battery-operated tripod mounted lighting and specialized excavation tools, for digging through fire rubble. Fire investigators will also receive specialized protective equipment for their work in these hazardous environments. 


FEMA awarded AFD $42,884 for this grant, with a required $2,145 funding match by the City.


The City of Asheville is the only municipality in North Carolina to receive this grant this year.


FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations. 


“We are very appreciative of federal grant monies that will be used to update AFD’s fire investigation program to include equipment and PPE that are specifically designed for fire investigations,” said Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette.


Find a copy of the staff report to Council and related resolution at this link.