Blaze Fire Investigation Blog

As an industry leader, BlazeFire fire investigators combine industry best practices with scientific knowledge, proven methodologies and experiential skill to deliver sound origin and cause opinions. We have years of experience finding the origin and cause of Structural, Vehicle, Marine and Hazardous Environment fires.

Industries we serve include Insurance, Legal and Manufacturing. Our consultations cover Large Loss Operations, Case Reviews and Code Interpretation.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Posted by on in Welcome

 

Hits: 755

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_mouse-stove-300x225.jpg

It started out as a beautiful summer day.  On this particular day, the home owner decided to take their dog for a walk, open the windows to let some fresh air into the house, and then clean the oven. The oven was part of a Frigidaire brand gas range. Since this range featured a self-cleaning oven option, the owner thought the task at hand would be a breeze.

A self-cleaning oven cleans itself with very high temperatures, which then reduces the soil inside the oven to a fine powdered ash that can be wiped away. The temperature reached during a self-cleaning cycle (900 degrees Fahrenheit) is much higher than normal cooking temperatures which are between 170 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The owner followed the manufacture instructions and started the self-cleaning cycle on her oven. This cycle was set to last three hours.  Approximately an hour and a half later the owner was in the living room and started to smell smoke.  At the same time the home smoke detector started sounding.  The owner followed the smoke smell to the kitchen.  Upon entering the kitchen, the owner saw heavy smoke and fire emanating from the left side of their gas range.  In a panic she grabbed the phone and called 9-1-1. The fire department arrived quickly and put the fire out.  Luckily for the owner, fire damage was limited to the immediate area around the oven.

Blaze Fire Investigation was called out to the scene to examine the gas range and determine the cause of the fire.  Our investigators interviewed the homeowner and performed a complete examination of the fire scene.  The only ignition source found in the area of fire origin was the Frigidaire brand gas range.  The range was collected and examined in a laboratory setting.

An examination in the laboratory showed an intense burn pattern on the left exterior side of the oven. An examination of the inside of the oven compartment showed very little fire damage.  The outer metal housing of the oven was removed.  The insulation surrounding the oven compartment was heavily burned and soot stained on its left side. Wire insulation was also burned away on all the conductors along the left side.  A closer examination of the conductors showed no evidence of an electrical fault. The metal top of the oven was removed and the area below the gas burners was examined. The insulation was partially burned and remnants of dog food and mice feces were found packed on top of the insulation surround the oven compartment.  The dog food remains were burned and charred.  A burn test was performed on the dog food and it was found to ignite easily and sustain flame.

After a complete investigation using the scientific method, our investigators determined the fire was caused by the ignition of dog food that was placed inside the outer housing of the kitchen range by mice.  The dog food was ignited when the oven temperatures reached as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit and continued to burn and ignite other nearby combustible materials.

b2ap3_thumbnail_2_20161111-194439_1.jpg              b2ap3_thumbnail_3_20161111-194502_1.jpg

 

Hits: 1605

Posted by on in Welcome

b2ap3_thumbnail_WFG_20161003-170228_1.jpg

Blaze Fire Investigation is proud to introduce our newest Fire Investigator, William M. Granat, C.F.I.  Mr. Granat comes to us from the Chicago Fire Department, where he has over 12 years of experience.  He is currently a Fire Fighter and Paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department. 

Mr. Granat has worked in the private industry as a Fire Investigator for over 8 years, and has an excellent understanding of what is required when investigating a fire for either the public or private sectors. He is a Certified Fire Investigator (IAAI) and maintains many other certifications in the Fire and Explosion Investigation industry.  Mr. Granat has investigated or supervised the investigation of over 1200 fires.

We are very excited to add Mr. Granat to our team of outstanding Fire Investigators.

Hits: 946

Posted by on in Welcome

b2ap3_thumbnail_tom-pruitt.jpg

We at Blaze Fire Investigation are very proud to introduce one of our newest Fire Investigators, Thomas D. Pruitt, C.F.I.  Mr. Pruitt is an extremely qualified Fire Investigator with over 29 years of experience with the Danville Fire Department in Danville, Illinois; he currently serves as the Battalion Chief and Assistant Chief.

Mr. Pruitt is active in the Fire Investigation community and can frequently be found speaking, training and teaching about Emergency Response to first responders. He also participates in seminars that discuss the latest techniques and tools available for Fire and Explosion Investigation.

Mr. Pruitt attended Parkland Community College and Danville Area Community College, studying Fire Service Technology and Criminal Law.  His continuing education and training run the full gamut of topics concerned with Fire Investigation, Fire Service, and Hazardous Materials. 

Mr. Pruitt’s experience, education, and training make him an exceptional Fire Investigator and a fantastic addition to our team at Blaze Fire Investigation.

Hits: 935

Posted by on in Welcome

b2ap3_thumbnail_2015152-0463.JPG

Utilizing Radiography and Computerized Tomography as Tools for Non-Destructive Examinations

Many times the evidence left after a fire is unrecognizable and appliances that are made partially out of plastic have melted leaving only a pile of char.  However, most of the time, the metal components inside the appliance have remained intact and are just buried in charred plastic making them inaccessible for physical examination.  This causes a problem for the investigator because the components they need to exam are unavailable.  They risk causing damage to the artifact if they physically try to remove the components by breaking away the plastic.  That’s why our team of investigators are trained to utilize radiography (X-rays) and computerized tomography (CT scans) as a non-destructive examination tool.

 

Utilizing X-rays as a non-destructive tool has been used in fire investigation for years.  X-rays are a great way to see components on a two dimensional image and can be very useful in determining switch positions, fuse conditions, and many other things. A CT scan is an x-ray procedure that combines many X-ray images together, with the aid of a computer, to produce a three-dimensional image.  Below are examples of images from a CT scan of a surge protector.  As you can see, these images are incredibly detailed.

b2ap3_thumbnail_xray1.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_xray2.jpg

These images give our investigators the ability to see inside of an object without cutting or destroying the evidence and therefore preserving the evidence.   You can see the metal oxide varistors (MOVs) and switch contacts in the images above.  These tools are invaluable when determining the origin and cause of a fire. Contact Blaze Fire Investigation to assign a project or to learn more about our fire investigation and forensic engineering services. 

Hits: 2036