National Fire Dog Monument unveiled in D.C.

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – An honor befitting a hero took place at the corner of 5th and F Streets downtown. There now stands a seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture, and in a city filled with national monuments, it is the first of its kind.

It’s the National Fire Dog monument, which honors the four-legged investigators who help solve this country’s arson fires.

D.C. Fire Arson investigator Rodney Taylor and his partner, Dozen, shut down arsonists like Raven Masters, who was given 11 life sentences for trying to kill a Montgomery County Police officer in 2011.

And the efforts of D.C. Fire Arson investigator Scott Wilson and his canine partner, Rue, landed Maurice Dews behind bars after he set multiple fires two years ago – including one that burned five D.C. firefighters and almost killed one named Chuck Ryan.

The new national monument touched so many investigators and their canine counterparts today, here from across the country and Canada.

"I really wanted to capture the eye contact between the dog and the handler," says the 24-year-old creator of the statue who spent 1,500 hours building the life-size tribute -- all the way down to the stitching. He is also a firefighter from Colorado.

"It's the few minutes that once you unveil it, you see everyone's expression and that is what I live for," he says.