As an attorney taking on a fire origin and cause case, you need to know that you have a qualified and experienced fire expert on your legal team.
The best way to ensure that is to learn more about the vital role an expert plays in fire cases:
Conducts an initial fire scene investigation
The police and first responders that are on the scene first must conduct their initial investigation, oftentimes keeping outsiders from entering the area.
This can put you and your client at a disadvantage.
The aftermath of a fire already limits what a professional can find during an examination of the scene, and in some cases, what has been collected by the fire and police department is the only information presented in court—this alone does not provide answers.
A fire expert can conduct an independent scene examination following the event to gather insight, evidence and additional information that can strengthen your case.
Determines the origin of the fire
Although there are many cases in which the origin of a fire is very apparent, it more commonly is not—a fire is intricate in nature and there are many possible locations in which the fire could have started.
With a trained eye and extensive knowledge in the industry, a fire expert will scour the scene for evidence, analyzing even the most damaged structures in order to find the “seat of the fire.”
Find the location and it’s one step closer to uncovering the cause.
Determines the cause of the fire
There are several causes that could be at play in your arson case.
Through careful analysis, and forensic and scientific examination, a fire expert can work to uncover the root cause of a fire event.
Fire experts are well-versed in fire scene investigation procedures, the signs of arson, and how a fire spreads making them the most equipped to examine a variety of fire scenes such as homes and commercial buildings, vehicles, heavy equipment, manufacturing plants, and hazardous sites.
There are four different categories of fires:
- Natural: Caused by nature
- Accidental: The fire was not meant to be set
- Incendiary: Intentionally started to cause harm
- Undetermined: A root cause is undefinable
A fire expert is able to use the evidence and information found to form a conclusion as to the type of fire that occurred and the point of ignition—pivotal information to be said on the stand.
Provides a testimony as a fire investigation expert witness
The role of a fire expert in these cases is to gather all of the evidence found and construct a valid testimony on the events that transpired.
But most importantly, it is relaying that information in a digestible form to those—the judge and jury—who may not be so knowledgeable on the subject.
After all, that’s why you brought in an expert.
Work with us
At Agosti Fire Investigations, we have a team of fire experts with the proper knowledge and experience to add value to your legal team.
Contact us today to learn more.