Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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For junior/senior-level college courses in Fire Science Technology and Fire Protection Engineering, as well as advanced Fire Investigation and Training programs and professional seminars. This textbook for the fire and law enforcement investigator, prosecutor, and fire protection professional provides a thorough understanding of fire dynamics, describing and illustrating a totally new systematic approach for reconstructing fire scenes. The approach applies the following principles of fire protection engineering along with forensic and behavioral science: identifiable fire pattern damage, human factors, physical forensic evidence of human activity, and application of the scientific method based upon relevant scientific principles and research. Using historical fire cases, the authors provide new lessons and insight into the ignition, growth, development, and outcome of those fires.

Author Biography

David J. Icove: The University of Tennessee John D. DeHaan: Fire-Ex Forensics, Inc.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. xi
List of Tablesp. xvii
Prefacep. xix
Principles of Reconstructionp. 1
Need for Science in Fire Scene Reconstructionp. 2
The Scientific Methodp. 2
Foundations of Expert Testimonyp. 10
Recognition of Fire Investigation as a Sciencep. 14
Forensic Fire Scene Reconstructionp. 22
Benefits of Fire Engineering Analysisp. 27
Case Study 1--Daubert and the Fire Investigatorp. 30
Case Study 2--The Joiner Case: A Clarification of Daubertp. 31
Case Study 3--The Benfield Casep. 32
Summary and Conclusionsp. 34
Basic Fire Dynamicsp. 36
Basic Units of Measurementp. 36
The Science of Firep. 37
Heat Transferp. 40
Heat Release Ratep. 44
Fire Developmentp. 51
Enclosure Firesp. 60
Other Enclosure Fire Eventsp. 64
Summary and Conclusionsp. 68
Fire Pattern Analysisp. 70
Fire Plumesp. 70
Types of Fire Plumesp. 72
Fire Plume Calculationsp. 77
Fire Patternsp. 89
Interpreting Fire Plume Behaviorp. 101
Fire Burn Pattern Testp. 105
Summary and Conclusionsp. 113
Fire Scene Documentationp. 115
National Protocolsp. 115
Systematic Documentationp. 117
Exteriorp. 135
Interiorp. 136
Investigativep. 138
Panoramic Photographyp. 140
Application of Criminalistics at Fire Scenesp. 142
Photographyp. 154
Sketchingp. 162
Establishment of Timep. 164
Spoliationp. 166
Summaryp. 168
Arson Crime Scene Analysisp. 170
Arson as a Crimep. 171
Classification of Motivep. 172
Other Motive-Related Considerationsp. 186
Geography of Serial Arsonp. 192
Summaryp. 200
Fire Modelingp. 202
History of Fire Modelingp. 202
Fire Modelsp. 203
Spreadsheetsp. 205
Zone Modelsp. 206
Field Modelsp. 208
Case Historiesp. 210
Case Study 1--Westchase Hilton Hotel Firep. 217
Summary and Conclusionsp. 223
Fire Death and Injuriesp. 225
Problems and Pitfallsp. 225
Tenability--What Kills People in Fires?p. 226
Visibilityp. 227
Toxic Gasesp. 232
Heatp. 237
Time Intervalsp. 242
Case Example 1--Death Followed by Fire: Cause and Durationp. 244
Case Example 2--Execution by Firep. 249
Case Example 3--Fatal Van Firep. 252
Conclusionsp. 259
Fire Testingp. 262
ASTM Testsp. 262
ASTM Test Methods for Other Materialsp. 265
Flash and Fire Points of Liquidsp. 266
Calorimetryp. 267
Furnishingsp. 269
Scalable Testsp. 271
Case Example 1--Cubicle Constructionp. 273
Case Example 2--Iowa Cubicle Testsp. 279
Case Example 3--Large-Scale Testsp. 285
Case Studiesp. 290
Case Example 1--Unusual Fire Deathp. 290
Case Example 2--Heat Release Rate Hazard of Christmas Treesp. 293
Case Example 3--Vehicle Fires and Exploding Gasoline Cansp. 302
Case Example 4--Assessing Construction and Wall Coveringsp. 305
Case Example 5--Plume Height and Time of Burning Bodyp. 310
Case Example 6--Arson-Homicidep. 313
Case Example 7--Accidental Fire Deathp. 316
Case Example 8--Pizza Shop Explosion and Firep. 319
Case Example 9--Stairwell Smoke Fillingp. 324
Summary and Conclusionsp. 329
Future Tools for the Fire Investigatorp. 331
Introductionp. 331
The "TRIP Kit"--Transfer of Military Technology to Fire Investigatorsp. 332
Present and Emerging Technologiesp. 338
Summary and Conclusionsp. 343
Referencesp. 345
Glossaryp. 356
Mathematics Refresherp. 362
Fractional Powersp. 362
Logarithmsp. 362
Dimensional Analysisp. 363
Indexp. 365
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