When It Comes to the Investigation of Arson

Topics: Fire, Arson, Circumstantial evidence Pages: 3 (877 words) Published: October 16, 2012

When it comes to the investigation of arson, it is essential for the police and fire department to work together. Arson is a growing problem and is no less dangerous than any other crime. Since it usually destroys its own evidence, it is twice as hard to detect. This paper will discuss what actions a fire investigator should take for the police department.

Fire is considered as both constructive and destructive. When used constructively, it can cause convenience. On the other hand, fire, when used otherwise can claim many lives and destroy many properties. Fire is merciless; it will destroy almost everything in its path and can leave nothing of use. Arson is a “malicious, willful burning of a building or property: (Hess & Orthmann, 2011). The investigator must start immediately as possible following the report of fire, and if at all possible, while the area is still on fire. The fire itself may present significant information regarding its origin and nature (Becker, 2008). Arson investigators must quickly identify the first responder. This is the case since the first responder has the necessary information that would help the investigator make a picture of the crime scene before it was totally consumed by the fire. The quicker the investigator talks with the first responder the greater the chances that the responder would still remember many details. When questioning the first responder, it is important that the investigator extract the most relevant information. This information is related to the conditions during the actual fire. The direction of where the fire travels is also helpful in establishing its starting point, and arson should be presumed if there are several fires spread out over a burning building. This means that the color, height and location of the flames must be established. In addition, the volume of the smoke and the flames must also be made known to the investigator....
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