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Thread: Arson?

  1. #1
    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    Default Arson?

    How does your department handle arson? How do you know when to suspect arson? When you do what is the next step?


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    A few ways to detect arson are as follows. Multiple start points and something called inverted V patterns just to name a few. When we suspect arson during a fire investigation here in Alberta Canada, we contact the police, as it is now a criminal matter for the police.

    Mike

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    We are fortunate enough to have a state fire marshalls office that assists with these things. We call the fire marshall for any fire that we can't determine the cause of. Sometimes he will call the incident commander and determine that he's not needed, other times he will show up and do an investigation. If there is any doubt about the cause, we only do overhaul that is absolutely necessary until he has examined the scene and given us permission to wrap things up.

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    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    My answers are based my position and dept policies.
    How does your department handle arson?
    Arson is investigated jointly by the FD's Investigation unit and the Sheriff's Dept.
    How do you know when to suspect arson?
    Signs of forced entry, multiple ignition points, unidentified persons fleeing the scene, visible pour patterns, fire behavior that is suspected of being influenced by accelerants, etcs.
    When you do what is the next step?
    The next step is to notify the IC, who in turn notifies the arson investigator. We limit overhaul as much as possible and assist the investigator when needed.

  5. #5
    Forum Member scvfd412's Avatar
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    Here in my county, our Fire Investigator investigates every structure fire.
    Lieutenant/EMT-B

    VSFFA Member

    "I'm a CCEMT-B."

    "Remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off."

    "A lack of effort will always lead to failure."

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    Kentucky State Police handles arson investigations for the Commonwealth.
    My old department would have an investigator come out for training and invite area FFs to join us.
    We'd get some good information about why he did his job but not a lot about HOW he went about it.

    The officers and senior FFs knew what to look for(I was trying to figure out burn patterns when I left) and if anyone had the slightiest indication that this wasn't a "normal"fire, the Chief started whistling up the Arson investigator.
    The points listed by others match what I've been told to look for.Also look for things that you wouldn't normally find in a burned room.For example,how many people keep their lawn mower gas in the living room?
    Once we start thinking that the fire is arson,we work to put it out,make sure the overhaul doesn't destroy evidence that could prove or disprove our think,control access to the scene by leaving an officer to stand by,and take lots of pictures of the fire,and the scene to show later.All the officers on my department carried cameras in their turnout gear just in case.

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    In Pennsylvania and Louisiana it is handle through the Fire Marshall office which our both divisions of the state police...

    Everything everyone states is true, we had one that tried to make it look like an accident by putting a pot on the stove and turning the burner on - but made a fatal mistake and turned on the burners - We noticed when we entered the structure that all four burners were red before we shut the power off to the building... and all four knobbs were turn to the on position...

    Anything out of the ordinary maybe evidence it was arson... So look for the unexpected...

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    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    We don't. Unless someone tells us then we don't touch anything after extinguishing it and wait for cops. Then it's up too the fire marshall
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

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