Ffiinvestigation of fire sevidence preservation


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Ffiinvestigation of fire sevidence preservation

  1. 1. 476.210 Investigation of fires by municipal officers and constables; reports; exemption. (1) The municipal fire marshals, fire department chiefs, constables and other officers referred to in ORS 476.060 shall investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of each fire occurring in their respective cities, villages or townships, by which property has been destroyed or damaged, and shall make an investigation to determine whether the fire was the result of carelessness or design. The investigation shall be commenced immediately after the occurrence of the fire.
  2. 2. Evidence Mutilation Technician
  3. 3. Essentials of Fire Fighting, 5th Edition Chapter 18 — Protecting Fire Scene Evidence Firefighter I
  4. 4. OBJECTIVES After completing this lesson, the student shall be able to identify indicators of an incendiary fire and protect and preserve evidence after a fire following the policies and procedures set forth by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
  5. 5. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES 1. Describe signs and indications of an incendiary fire. 2. Summarize important observations to be made en route, after arriving at the scene, and during fire fighting operations. 3. Discuss firefighter conduct and statements at the scene.
  6. 6. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES 4. Explain firefighter responsibilities after the fire. 5. Discuss protecting and preserving evidence.
  7. 7. DETERMINING CAUSE  In most jurisdictions the fire chief has the legal responsibility for determining the cause and origin of a fire.  Delegates this authority to the fire officers and firefighters at the scene - Are you experienced enough to make the determination –  Remember your finding may go to court if in doubt get help – when should you get assistance in determining the fire cause
  8. 8. Hermiston Policy on Fire Investigations  There has been a death or injury related to the fire  There appears to have been criminal acts associated     with the fire (incendiary fires, chain of dumpster fires) The fire caused a loss of high dollar value - $10,000 or more There is not a clear and believable explanation for how the fire started A request is made for utility companies to respond to the scene (utilities were shut off) Flames or heavy smoke are showing from a structure
  9. 9. Hermiston Policy on Fire Investigations  You are unable to clearly determine the cause of a vehicle fire  There are suspicious circumstances pertaining to the fire  When in doubt about whether an investigator is needed, call the investigator and explain the circumstances. The investigator will determine whether an investigation response is necessary.  If no fire investigator is available it will be the Senior Fire Officer’s responsibility to determine the fire cause and to thoroughly document the fire cause investigation.
  10. 10. Most important thing a firefighter can do is OBSERVE  Observations enroute  Weather  Time of day, –  Barriers  People leaving the scene  Does your department make you fill out a Fire Story  Remember you could have to go to court on this fire –  How good is your memory
  11. 11. Fire story  **Please relate only your observations. Strategy and tactics are not required for this form.  Use this form for all fire calls when asked by the Fire Marshal for a fire story. Each firefighter responding to the fire must individually fill out a form.      ALARM #, DATE, TIME Engine # ADDRESS, WEATHER CONDITIONS NAME , POSITION  What was involved in fire and what percentage of the structure/vehicle/area was involved?
  12. 12. Fire story  Was the fire continuous or did there appear to be      more than one actual fire? Did the fire react normally when water was applied? What color were the flames? How high were the flames? Was the smoke colored? Were there any odd odors?
  13. 13. Fire Story  How was entry made?  Were the doors locked?  Were the doors opened/closed?  Windows? Open Closed Broken Boarded  If necessary, identify individual door and window conditions?  Were there familiar faces or unusually helpful civilians in the area?
  14. 14. Fire Story  Were the owners or occupants present? What was their appearance and demeanor?  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?  People leaving the scene, barriers once on scene, contents of the room, containers or cans, burglary tools  PLACE IN THE FIRE MARSHAL’S IN BASKET, WHEN FINISHED
  15. 15. Observations During The Fire  Incendiary devices  Trailers  Structural alterations  Fire patterns What would you do if you saw this?
  16. 16. Observations During Fire Fighting Operations  Heat intensity  - what would this mean - NOTHING  Availability of documents  Fire detection  protection systems  Intrusion alarms  Location of fire
  17. 17. Observations During Fire Fighting Operations  Personal possessions  Household items  Equipment or inventory  Business records  Note – do not touch
  18. 18. Conduct and Statements at the Scene  It’s not your job – put the fire out, keep your mouth     shut and OBSERVE – If the owner or occupant wants to talk send them to the fire officer or investigator Fire Investigators Interview – Police Interrogate What is the difference Keep your opinions to the fire to yourself – I talk to the Incident Commander – If you have an observation or did something I want to know
  19. 19. Conduct and Statements at the Scene  Public statement regarding fire cause should be made only after  The investigator and ranking fire officer have agreed to its accuracy and validity  Until the investigation has been completed its under investigation– no fire is suspicious or suspected arson,  Classification of cause must be accidental, incendiary, natural or undetermined  Investigator or Fire Officer speaks to the media
  20. 20. Responsibilities After the Fire  Firefighters should report their observations to their supervisor  Firefighters should not discuss their observations with other crew members, families or friends – I do not want to hear how the fire started from the press or at a store
  21. 21. Responsibilities After the Fire  Improperly done overhaul operations can be detrimental to the investigation  Put the fire out  Clear the smoke  Get an investigator to look at the fire scene  Do not remove anything from the fire until given permission from the fire investigator
  22. 22. Securing the Fire Scene  Fire department has the authority to deny access to any building  During fire fighting operations  For a reasonable length of time after fire suppression is terminated  Maintain custody till fire investigators arrive  Get a Permission to Investigate signed as soon as possible  Why must we maintain custody of the scene
  23. 23. Protecting and Preserving Evidence  Protect evidence by keeping it untouched and undisturbed until an investigator arrives  Do not gather or handle evidence unless it is absolutely necessary in order to preserve it  Note if you handled evidence – chain of custody  If you must move evidence- try to take photos and write in the fire story on why you moved it
  24. 24. Protecting and Preserving Evidence  Firefighters must avoid trampling over possible      evidence and obliterating it The same precaution applied to the excessive use of water may help avoid similar unsatisfactory results Do not remove anything that you do not have to Human footprints and tire marks must be protected Protect completely or partially burned papers found in a furnace, stove, or fireplace by immediately closing dampers and other openings Leave charred documents found in containers
  25. 25. After Evidence Has Been Collected  After evidence has been properly collected by an investigator, debris may be removed - ask the investigator what is ok to remove  Remove charred materials to prevent the possibility of rekindle and to help reduce smoke damage
  26. 26. Summary  Your job is to observe  It is a firefighter ‘s responsibilities is to avoid disturbing or destroying evidence while fighting the fire and after. In the area of origin appropriate caution must be used when spraying water, moving debris, and even walking around.  Once the fire is out if possible get an investigator in there to determine where and what to overhaul  Firefighters should not determine cause  No statements to anyone about the fire
  27. 27. Sales Pitch for OTFIT  Oregon Trails Fire Investigation Team  Fire Investigators from Pendleton, Boardman, Hermiston, State Fire Marshal, Oregon State Police  Always Get a Permission to Investigate  Secure Fire Scene  If you have any doubts call for assistance from OTFIT
  28. 28. Review Questions 1.What observations should be made en route? 2.What observations should be made upon arrival? 3.What observations should be made during firefighting operations? 4.What actions should firefighters take after a fire? 5.Why is protecting evidence important?