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Arson. Chapter 7. Determining Where & How. Point of Origin Most damage V Pattern Eyewitnesses. Accident vs Incendiary. Search for Accelerants and/or Ignitors Accelerants Almost always overused Collect in areas that won’t burn

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Presentation Transcript
arson

Arson

Chapter 7

determining where how
Determining Where & How
  • Point of Origin
    • Most damage
    • V Pattern
    • Eyewitnesses
accident vs incendiary
Accident vs Incendiary
  • Search for Accelerants and/or Ignitors
  • Accelerants
    • Almost always overused
    • Collect in areas that won’t burn
    • Discovered using an arson dog or a Vapor Trace Analyzer (VTA)
tools in the field
Tools in the Field

Arson Dog VTA

ignitors
Ignitors
  • Most common is a match.
  • The striking surface on matchboxes is typically composed of powdered glass and red phosphorus
  • The match head is primarily composed of potassium chlorate
in the lab
In The Lab…
  • Once collected, accelerants are usually analyzed by a Gas Chromatographer – Mass Spectometer (GC-MS)
    • Gas Chromatographer breaks the accelerant down into its simplest chemicals
    • Mass Spectrometer identifies those chemicals to ID the accelerant
searching for victims
Searching for Victims
  • Asphyxia
    • Normal CO levels in non-smoker are <5%
    • Approx. 5% in smokers
    • House fires can reach 45-90% CO levels
    • At 20% CO levels, dizziness & confusion
    • At 35% CO levels, weakness & loss of coordination
    • At 50%+ CO levels, loss of consciousness or death
searching for victims1
Searching for Victims
  • Most bodies aren’t cremated in a house fire.
    • House fires only reach about 500-2,000oF and are put out in less than an hour from starting
    • Cremating a body requires 1,500oF for 2 hours
searching for victims2
Searching for Victims
  • The medical examiner will look for two things to identify death by asphyxiation
    • 1. Soot in mouth, throat, and lungs
    • 2. Carboxyhemoglobin
      • The CO will bind to hemoglobin in blood.
      • Blood, organs, and muscles will turn bright red as a result.