Team hot dealing with fire causes

Portrait of bride and groom by church
Portrait of bride and groom by church

Spokesman Allen Gale said fire investigation officers were selected and trained by specialist instructors in fire and police work to investigate the fire cause.

He said all station officers were trained in basic fire investigation techniques such as looking at the areas burnt and determining where most of the burn happened.

‘They conduct inquiries with witnesses to collect evidence; they look at electrical appliances to see damage caused, they look at how damaged structures are, looking at flame and smoke patterns.

‘They rule out the common causes but if they find indicators such as evidence of accelerants being used, that would lead them to think the fire is suspicious,’ Mr Gale said.

Mr Gale said officers’ peciality was to determine cause but if the police said the fire was related to criminal investigation they bow out.

‘We play an information sharing role and that’s why WA has been very successful in determining cause and seeing a reduction in deliberately lit fires. The chain of evidence is very important for police so if they find a fire is deliberate they need to be able to continue this investigation.

‘The crucial part with any suspicious fire is that we don’t comment on the cause as it can possibly affect future investigations and more importantly, if criminal charges are laid, it can affect judicial processes.’