ARSON INVESTIGATIONS

nfd2004

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Jun 22, 2007
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Thank you "manhattan", aka Frank M.

In this day of arson investigations, those guys know their stuff. In addition to that they have high tech equipment to aid them in their investigations.

Of course along with those Arson Investigators comes their Canine helpers. I remember one time one of those dogs finding One Drop of gasoline in a large swimming pool of water. The dog swam right to where it was placed.

We no longer live in the days of just writing off a fire as criminal mischief. These days, anybody who plans on setting a fire, regardless of the reason is probably going to get caught. You just ain't going to fool these guys today. They know their stuff and you ain't gonna win.
 
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ta176

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May 28, 2020
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As a FF in Brownsville during the war years for 24 years I pretty much saw many different types of fires in all types of buildings. From old law tenements to newer ones, row frame, store fires, projects and any other fire you can think of. We also got called for domestic disputes, oil burner fires etc.. The interchange program taught me that there were people that appreciated and thanked us for anything we did for them.
I was then appointed to the Fire Marshals office in 1992. I thought it was time I went in to fire buildings after the fire was out and try to figure out how it started. Interviewing FF that had responded and extinguished the fire sometimes left me more baffled than when I first sized the fire up. I had a house explosion in Queens, I then requested the canine we had at the time and the dog made several alerts showing that gas was used in different locations in the residence. The home owner was in Puerto Rico at the time of fire. I really came to enjoy the job even though sometimes we never got the arsonist. Many car fires because owner could only get out of the Lease by torching the car. Arrested the guy that burnt the Church were I attended as a young boy. Real satisfaction there. Another arrest of a guy that torched a building and 2 residents were rescued, FF performed CPR and saved them both. Although I was a little apprehensive when I took the Fire Marshal job, I came to get a lot of satisfaction making the right call at a fire. The dog was the only hi tech equipment we had back then. Any evidence we collected had to go to the PD for analysist such as a flammable liquid.
 

manhattan

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Dec 7, 2007
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As a FF in Brownsville during the war years for 24 years I pretty much saw many different types of fires in all types of buildings. From old law tenements to newer ones, row frame, store fires, projects and any other fire you can think of. We also got called for domestic disputes, oil burner fires etc.. The interchange program taught me that there were people that appreciated and thanked us for anything we did for them.
I was then appointed to the Fire Marshals office in 1992. I thought it was time I went in to fire buildings after the fire was out and try to figure out how it started. Interviewing FF that had responded and extinguished the fire sometimes left me more baffled than when I first sized the fire up. I had a house explosion in Queens, I then requested the canine we had at the time and the dog made several alerts showing that gas was used in different locations in the residence. The home owner was in Puerto Rico at the time of fire. I really came to enjoy the job even though sometimes we never got the arsonist. Many car fires because owner could only get out of the Lease by torching the car. Arrested the guy that burnt the Church were I attended as a young boy. Real satisfaction there. Another arrest of a guy that torched a building and 2 residents were rescued, FF performed CPR and saved them both. Although I was a little apprehensive when I took the Fire Marshal job, I came to get a lot of satisfaction making the right call at a fire. The dog was the only hi tech equipment we had back then. Any evidence we collected had to go to the PD for analysist such as a flammable liquid.
Thanks for your reply, ta176. Please share more of your experiences!
 

ta176

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May 28, 2020
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I had a fire in a commercial 1 story 100x100 building containing rolls of material. The fire occurred about 2 AM and was a 2nd alarm. The point of origin disclosed no reason for the fire, no electric or any thing else to start the fire. Thinking it came from the roof I asked 1st due roof man if there was a hole in the roof and he replied no. Working the next day I returned to the scene and discovered a dumpster at the side of the building that gave me access to the roof. Upon getting on the roof I noticed only 1 hole directly over the fire. Being a former truckie, I thought it was unusual on a roof that size that he knew exactly where to cut. So I went to the fire house and questioned him on how he knew where to cut and he replied there was fire coming out. I then said I had asked you about a hole in the roof last night and he replied I thought you meant a big hole. A temporary side track, but in the end I saw that a hole was put in the roof and a flammable liquid was poured in and lit.
 

ta176

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May 28, 2020
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As an investigator at a fire scene it is very important to interview 1st due Engine and Truck to see what they observed initially. Did they have to force entry into building and anything unusual in the initial assessment of the fire. When the Chief makes it a 10-41-1 question him on what was the reason for him to make that call. The physical job of the Fire Investigator begins when the fire is extinguished so he can enter the fire scene. If the building was occupied, interview tenants while fire is being extinguished. If fire is determined to be Arson, Complaint is filed with the P.D. in the Precinct of occurence.
I had a car fire in Ozone Park 2 blocks away from the 106 Pct.. I could see Pct. from the car. I went to precinct filled out the complaint and was told it was in the 102nd Pct. zone. So went to the 102 to file the paper work. So in FDNY we cover a circular area from quarters, the P.D does it completely different as to what area they cover.
 

68jk09

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^^^^ Also in the NYPD if a minor job is on the other side of a borderline St or Highway of another Precinct when given they do not take it but tell Central it is in the X Precinct not theirs & they remain 98 (in service) where as in the FDNY regardless of where a Run comes in we are determined to get to it regardless of how miniscule or the severity whether normally assigned or not....maybe it has to do with the minor job they might get involved in with doing reports or the way they are treated by their Superiors ?.... I have the highest RESPECT for the NYPD & worked together with them thru the years & am a big supporter of them & have had MOS living under my roof in my house but I just can't get the concept of their Units storing up 4 or 5 jobs on their queue ( RMP / Car MDT screen)
or as a lifelong NYC Resident having a Precinct going into backlog with jobs...(I think they are hurting themselves at contract time).... FDNY would always have the next closest Units responding no matter how distant they were coming from but someone was on their way or if a response area was depleted we would Relocate Units in.....JMHO
 
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