Who are we?
The dictionary defines fire as “a state, process, or instance of combustion in which fuel or other material is ignited and combined with oxygen, giving off light, heat, and flame.” Fire is our expertise. No, we do not make it, but we solve it. We are John Michael Agosti & Associates and we help insurance companies, attorneys and other agencies in determining fire cause in fires. We, in other words, help people see the “light.” Welcome to our blog!
On January 14, 2013, the FBI released preliminary semiannual crime statistics for 2012. The FBI culled information provided by more than 13,300 law enforcement agents all across the country and compared the first six months of 2011 with the first six months of 2012. The report covers violent crime, property crime and arson.
Arson is “the malicious burning of another’s house or property, or in some statutes, the burning of one’s own house or property, as to collect insurance.” Cases of arson are quite frequent. FBI statistics show a general increase in from 2011 to 2012 for most of the country. The report states, “Three of the four regions reported increases in the number of arsons – 11.0 percent in the Midwest; 6.4 percent in the West; and 5.7 percent in the Northeast. There was a 5.6 decrease in arson offenses in the South.” In terms of the Midwest, an 11.0 percent increase is a big jump. As fire investigators based in the Illinois area, we have felt the increase.
Smaller cities have felt the brunt of this increase. The report states, “Arson offenses increased 19.1 percent in cities with populations of 25,000 to 49,999, the largest increase within the city groupings.” While metropolitan counties have experienced a decrease, any increase in arson is disconcerting. If recent news stories are any indication, arson offenses will only increase in 2013.
For more information on FBI statistics, look here.
Earlier this week, firefighters in East Detroit had their hands full. They battled multiple suspected arson fires in vacant homes. In the article “Multiple Suspected Arson Fires Push Crews In Detroit To Limit,” WWJ reports, “Chief John Slavik said at one point Wednesday morning, all crews covering the east side were out fighting mainly suspected arson fires, leaving the rest of the area unprotected in the event of a life-threatening situation.”
The fires were so bad and numerous they occupied the attention of all local firefighters. Slavik was concerned that in the event of another fire or emergency, the firefighters would not be able to address it in time. The firefighters are busy dealing with vacant lots that they cannot help city citizens. The brave firefighters cannot be two places at once. One arson offense can tear apart a neighborhood. Multiple cases can tear a city apart. It is life threatening for both firefighters and civilians. Unfortunately, arson fires have become so common in the area it is now normal.
There is the possibility that the arson fires are connected. It is too much of a coincidence. It is certainly a dangerous situation and investigations are ongoing. We wish them good fortune. For more information on the situation, you can find the article here.
What we do
Such arson cases are our bread and butter, as it smells of foul play. That is what fire investigations are all about! We are smoky sleuths. Stay tuned to this blog for updates, tips and much more! Again, welcome to our blog!
*Image courtesy of Junior Libby