INDIAN LAKE ESTATES (FOX 13) - There's an unusual crime-fighting team working on the suspicious fires that have been plaguing Indian Lake Estates.
You might call them "Batz and Booker."
Detective Jeff Batz and his canine sidekick, Booker, a 5-year-old female black lab, are trying to find out what caused eight wildfires in the last few weeks. They are very close to an answer.
"She is my partner. She is my shadow. She is with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Batz told FOX 13.
Booker is trained to sniff out accelerants like gasoline, diesel, or lighter fluid, even after they have burned.
"A human has about five million olfactory sensors in their nose. A dog has about 300 million," Batz explained.
To show us how effective Booker's nose can be, Batz gave her a test. He put a drop of gas in a can, then lined it with several empty cans. Booker zeroed in the right one over and over again.
Then Batz upped the ante and added human smells. He put a drop of gas on a man's shoe. I stood next to the man, and Booker made a beeline to me.
"You may have gotten something on you in the recent past that's attached to the leather on your boots and that's what she is finding," he said.
Booker has found a lot of evidence. In the last few years, she has worked more than 400 cases, including many home fires, like a recent fatal fire in San Antonio. She helped detectives determine that it was accidental.
Batz refused to say if Booker has zeroed in on anything in Indian Lake Estates because the fires are still under investigation.