Veteran firefighter began in Sunset Park; he’s now Department’s lead ‘detective’
Chief Daniel E. Flynn of the FDNY on Monday was appointed as chief fire marshal of the FDNY Bureau of Investigation at the FDNY’s headquarters in Brooklyn — a role that brings law enforcement skills into the Fire Department.
Chief Flynn first worked at Ladder Co. 114 on Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park after he joined the FDNY in 2005, and he served there until his promotion to fire marshal in 2009. Five years later, he was promoted to lieutenant and worked in the 8th Division. In November of 2016, he was promoted to supervising fire marshal.
In his new role, Chief Flynn oversees approximately 150 fire marshals of the BFI (Bureau of Fire Investigation) who are responsible for investigating the cause and origin of more than 7,000 fires each year in New York City.
FDNY fire marshals, who go into fire scenes after the blazes are extinguished, are considered law enforcement officers with the power to arrest those who commit arson and other crimes within New York City.
Thus, fire marshals operate at the crossroads between detective work and the Fire Department. They sometimes also operated in tandem with federal investigators as well.
Investigations by fire marshals provide critical information used by the department to improve the safety of FDNY members at fires and other emergencies and to provide fire causes that are used to direct fire safety education efforts for the public.
“Chief Flynn has spent his entire career bravely serving and protecting New Yorkers. As a firefighter, he battled fires and rescued others from harm. In his career as a Fire Marshal, he investigated fatal fires and brought to justice those who used fire as a weapon to endanger lives and destroy property,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“Now, as chief fire marshal, he will utilize all these skills, supervising an outstanding group of fire marshals who work diligently each day to ensure the safety of our city and the members of this Department,” he said.–>
Prior to his new role, Chief Flynn oversaw the FDNY Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which is responsible for conducting complex and high-profile criminal investigations. He supervised the work of numerous fire marshals who were handling a wide range of arson cases, in which fire was willfully and maliciously used as a weapon.
Chief Flynn has been cross-designated as a Federal Supervisory Task Force officer with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) since 2017, responsible for coordinating local investigative efforts with state and federal partners at the site of any major arson incident.
Having undergone extensive training in the field of advanced fire scene examination, Chief Flynn has served as a qualified technical and legal expert in the determination of origin and cause of fires to support criminal prosecutions.
He received the Deputy Commissioner Christine R. Godek Medal in 2012 for his efforts in uncovering a criminal conspiracy that included arson, kidnapping, assault and robbery following a three-alarm fire on Staten Island where 10 firefighters had been seriously injured. That long-running investigation concluded with the incarceration of four violent felony offenders.
Before joining the FDNY, Chief Flynn served as an NYPD police officer from July 1999 to May 2005.