A MUCH-LOVED dog who helped investigate hundreds of fires across the West Midlands has died.

West Midlands Fire service has announced the death of 10-year-old Belgian Malinois Kai.

The popular working pooch, who played a major role with the service’s fire investigation work, passed away on Tuesday March 7.

A spokesperson for the fire service said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kai, our much-loved fire investigation dog.

“Kai was an integral member of our team and, with his handler, Mat Dixon, played a vital role in our fire investigation work.

“Our thoughts are very much with Mat at this terribly difficult time.”

Kai was retired after suddenly going blind overnight in early January. He had been nearing the end of his fire service career but he was unable to continue working safely due his sudden and unexpected sight issues.

The animal had helped officers with fire investigations at hundreds of incidents in the West Midlands and elsewhere, with the fire service describing his service to the community as “vital”.