Online Fire, Arson & Explosion Investigation Faculty Publish an Article in Fire & Arson Investigator

Online Fire, Arson & Explosion Investigation Faculty Publish an Article in Fire & Arson Investigator

In the July issue of the Fire and Arson Investigator-Journal for the International Association of Arson Investigators EKU Online faculty, Bill Hicks, Andrew Tinsley and Greg Gorbett, published an article on some of the research being conducted here at EKU on fire patterns.

Here is the abstract from that article:

The science behind the formation of fire patterns and their ensuing use in the forensic analysis of fire scenes has been questioned since their introduction in the 1940’s. One key argument against the use of fire patterns, especially in post-flashover fires, is that they will be obscured beyond use by higher heat release rate items or by full-room involvement. This study addresses this concern by evaluating the persistency of these patterns in several scenarios. This experimental series consisted of 24 full-scale tests involving a variety of initial fuels and room configurations. Two representative tests are presented here. All of the tests completed were allowed to transition through flashover and burn in the post-flashover regime for a limited duration. It was the focus of this research to obtain a baseline for the resulting post-flashover patterns with the intent of studying longer duration fires in future testing. All tests in this study yielded enough evidence to accurately and reliably reach the correct area of origin and supported that fire patterns will persist regardless of the initial fuel package. It should be noted here, however, that these findings should not be extrapolated to all fires. With proper documentation of the scene and a sound knowledge of fire dynamics, an investigator was able to reach appropriate conclusions regarding the origin of the fire utilizing fire patterns in this test series.

Published on August 22, 2013