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Fire Investigation


The work of our Fire Investigation experts usually involves determining where, when and how a fire started by examining the scene of a fire, reviewing the physical evidence and taking into account background information from witnesses and emergency service personnel. Our fire investigation experts receive instructions in a wide range of fire investigation matters from small domestic incidents involving burn damage to people and property to the loss of large commercial premises.

Our fire experts are experienced in determining the seat (or seats) of origin of a fire from the tell-tale signs given by burn damage and fire debris. Our experts can further investigate potential sources of ignition, for example, arcing in electrical components or residue analysis for accelerants using analytical chemistry1. Through the application of scientific method, it is often possible for our fire experts (who are all trained forensic scientists) to confirm different ignition sources to those initially reported by other fire investigators. It can be tremendously important, therefore, to instruct a forensic scientist in these matters, as contrary to popular belief, the evidence has not always been destroyed by the fire itself.

If you are a CrimeLine subscriber, you can find our Fire Investigation podcast HERE.


1Analytical chemistry is often used to examine samples from a fire scene for the presence of flammable / ignitable liquids that have been deliberately applied to accelerate a fire and that can indicate the cause of a fire as arson.