Fire investigation

Investigation of fire-related issues:

  • What caused the fire?
  • How did it spread?
  • What were the contributing factors?

Investigation of a fire issue

This case of the month concerns an auto/garage fire. The vehicle manufacturer issued a recall notice for an electrical problem. The insured took his nearly new vehicle to the dealer for he required work. He picked up his car about 5 pm, drove home without incident, and parked the car in the garage. About 2 am, he was awakened by smoke and flames. The fire department extinguished the fire and determined that the fire started in the garage. Each interested party brought in their own CFI, but they could not agree as to the origin of the fire. At that point GEI was brought in.  read more…

Car-related fire issue

The call came in that there had been a vehicle fire of unknown origin-would we check it out?  Our story begins with the kids telling Dad that there was smoke in the garage.   He then ran out to the garage, where their two-year old car was parked, and while it was not in flames, it was smoking dramatically. read more…

What auto fluids burn?

Throughout the vehicle repair and fire investigation communities, there had been considerable discussion and disagreement about which under-hood fluids will ignite and under what conditions.  During one such discussion, a service manager of a California Chevrolet dealership stated, “Transmission fluid will not start a fire”.

However, real world experience from well over 750 vehicle fire investigations and attendance at 23 fire schools have shown that nearly all fluids found in engine compartments today will start a fire under the right conditions.  Engine fluids can leak for days, weeks, or months and not ignite.    That’s quite possible.  Garage floors of the world are covered with fluids that have leaked from engines and transmissions and have never caught fire.  read more…

Evidence photography

Here you are, at the scene of an accident, autopsy, or you are at an insurance vehicle storage yard, and you have with you, your camera. You are going to take pictures of the evidence that lies before you. Why? Why are you going to take photos of the evidence at hand?  read more…