There are always many problems left for the investigator after an incendiary fire. When it happened, observe the scene to the extent possible. The arson investigators may respond to all major fires at commercial organizations, because observations during the fire are often as important as a later search of the property. The investigator should be mindful to all the following characteristics.
The following steps should be observed when commanding an arson Investigation
1.Location, Direction of Flames, and Extent
Focusing on the specific floor area of the fire and direction of spread helps position the point of source of the fire. Fires rarely burn equally in all directions because of diversity of construction materials and wind direction. It may indicate an intentional fire when two or more separate blazes are over there.
2. Height and Color of Flames
By observing the appearance of flames at the fire ,the intensity of the fire and the presence of accelerants can be determined. Flame color will change from red to yellow,then to blue,at last to white.These are all based on different temperature. The caloric value of certain substances causes them to emit a unique color during a combustion.
Fire brings about a vapor which includes minute particles of the fuel being burned. The color of this vapor, usually called smoke, can show us the nature of the burning fuel. Thick and black smoke indicates a heavy carbon fuel such as gasoline,paint,or tar. These material are common for an arson.
4.the Odor at the Site
Odor at the scene can also provide evidences. Gasoline and diesel fuel have different scent. The investigator should also to know well about the scent given off by other popular promoters such as as tar and paint.
The investigator should note the weather conditions at the scene,too. Information concerning relative humidity at the time of the fire can be provided by the local weather bureau. Wind intensity and direction should also be noted.
Identify and interview witnesses at the fire scene is important.If time permits,ask as many as witnesses. the investigator should be alert to anyone who appears strange at the scene because of dressing, the time of day, or mannerisms.
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