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Practical Fire and Arson Investigation

NCJ Number
J J O'Connor
Date Published
340 pages
Fourteen chapters detail the knowledge and techniques required to investigate arson fires.
Topics reviewed are the structure and responsibilities of a model arson task force, the fire investigator's role, and the management of the fire investigation; arson motives and pathology; and fire problems and precautions associated with building construction. Information is provided on fire chemistry and behavior, methods of determining fire cause and origin, and means for eliminating accidental fire causes. The investigation of fatal fires is presented as a six-phase approach focusing on the fire incident, examination of the body, determination of cause and origin, the selection of investigative procedure, the followup investigation, and arrest and trial. Also explored are the investigation of vehicular fires (role of the insurance industry, salvage examination, driver injuries and burns, vehicle identification, and owner information), evidence collection, crime scene documentation, surveillance, and interviews and interrogation. Final chapters discuss court testimony by the investigator and New York State arson law. Footnotes and subject index.