Example Investigative Fire Report

Access to the property is at the gravel driveway to the left and I made entry into the Truckee was made through the front door after documenting photos of the outside of the structure. The fire occurred during the day, which was bright and sunny with temperature at degrees, there was also a slight breeze at about MPH from the n/ w. The breeze would have been blowing against the backside corner of the home. Witnesses/Occupants 0-1 : john Bush, 100 Eddie Lane, Bottoms, NC 28001 DOBB 12-01-88, occupation – student/part- time evening meme. -2: Susan Bush, 100 Eddie Lane, Bottoms, NC 28001 DOBB 5-11-91, occupation – Statements Made by Witnesses/Occupants Statements made to Fire Captain: 0-2: Said she was up late studying, Just laid down on the couch, fell asleep, did not know how the fire started. Felt sure it was a problem with the house, complained several times to the landlord about problems with no response, complained of several welling Issues. Salad she was a smoker but stated put cigarettes completely out while doing her work. 0-1 : John had agreed with Susan confirming the issues with the wiring.
He also stood behind his wife and said she was always safe with her cigarettes Observations Data collection began with photos being taken beginning outside and moving indoors. No smoke alarms or water sprinklers have been noted. Pictures should always be labeled when providing evidence and these photos will be numbered In this report. Upon entry of the structure, the majority of fire damage was concentrated to the main living room area which indicates that this is the point of origin. This room contained a heavily burned sofa and table next to the sofa as shown in pictures #12- #14, the major fuel sources in the room.
The fire moved up the wall and across the lining, as shown in pictures #6 & At the front door, the heat and smoke began to roll-down and cause damage, as seen In picture #10. Two mattresses are In an The windows in many of the photos remained closed with burned shades which means the fire did not have adequate ventilation to grow rapidly through the structure. The windows which are open may have been opened during suppression of the fire or immediately afterwards to ventilate the structure.

One interesting observation in photo #2 is the power box which has no meter, meaning there is no power set up by the power company to this structure. Unless the occupants are stealing power, then an electrical fire can be ruled out. No generator can be seen and no drop cords were photographed, so the theory is that there is no power to the structure (Morris, 4/23/14). Opinions/Theories The point of origin being in the living room with the heaviest damage focused on the end of the sofa and the table next to the sofa.
Based on the statements made by the occupants three hypotheses exist as to the cause of the fire: 1 . Based on the severity of the damage to the end of the sofa in photos #12-#14 & #17-#19 and the tenements made by the occupants regarding the smoking of cigarettes, a smoldering cigarette fell into the cushions of the sofa and later ignited. In the incipient stage, the temperature had not begun to rise yet and a plume of hot gases rises from the flame (p. 55). Pictures #15-#17 show alligator of the wood in the sofa at the one end which also indicates this is where the fire originated (p. 281).
The fuels burned and the heat moved toward the top of the room, this explains the blackening of the ceiling. With the lack of ventilation, the fire did not spread quickly which provided refreshers enough time to respond and suppress. 2. Also, based on the statements made by the occupants regarding smoking cigarettes, I would want to know more about how they normally discarded/dispose of their cigarette butts. Are they dumping an ashtray in a trashcan inside or outside? Could there have been an ashtray on the table next to the sofa which contained either a still lit cigarette or a smoldering cigarette?
If so, what type of ashtray? Metal, glass, heavy or lightweight? If any windows were open and the ashtray was light enough, could it have blown off or loon then cigarette off onto the sofa and ignited the fire? This is a working theory because there are questions which need to be answered. 3. Going on the assumption that there is no electricity to the home, it is highly possible there may have been a burning candle either on the window sill behind the sofa or on the table next to the sofa which may have fallen or tipped towards the sofa which ignited the sofa.
With statistics showing that 7 out of 10 people in America burn candles and the added question regarding power in this structure, it is a workable theory that a Andre accidentally ignited this fire (p. 173). In photos #12, #13, #19 & #20, the window directly behind the end of the sofa which is mostly burned being the origin of the fire, is also heavily blackened from soot and has a darker “U” burn pattern on the right lower side (p. 258-263). There is no physical evidence to suspect an incendiary cause of the fire to the structure. The evidence and observation supports an accidental cause.
Documentation/Evidence A total of 21 photos are attached to the report of the outside and inside of the structure. Close up photos of the point of origin are included. Where recovered, where sent for analysis, and any special notes are included. Summary of Incident On April 21, 2014, Investigator Boiling responded to 100 Eddie Lane, at the request of the Captain from Engine 1 . Arrival at the scene by the unit was 0200 hours. The investigator observed a wood-frame construction, two-story, one-family residence. The investigation revealed that the fire had originated in the living room at the end of the sofa.

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