If it’s your first fire incident report, you’ve come to the right place; hopefully this article will help you write it. But first of all, thank you for your service! You put your life on the line everyday walking through smoke and fire and collapsing structures, your words could be the only voice of sanity to hang onto till the victims are rescued; at that point, nothing sounds sweeter to the ears than “Fire Department Call Out!”
I know the last thing you need after a day fighting fires and saving lives; some you couldn’t, is paperwork, you’re thinking as your smoke reddened eyes go from staring at the NFIRS screen before you, and the half-eaten PB&J, and you’ve barely just sat down with but a bite in your belly since your shift started. Know that without your accurate findings the perpetrators will walk, and that’s why the PB&J will have to wait. Psst… I wouldn’t eat that anyway, it’s ancient, seriously! This is where this sample report below comes in handy. Make sure you have the following down in a pocket notebook onsite to include in your report: date, time (24hr format), address, fire being out or still in progress, a physical description of “what burned,” with measurements and description of exact location and objects near the “point of origin,” cause of fire and motive determined from evidence collected, and finally mention who requested the report and who was dispatched to investigate the incident.
Case Number: #16489
Date: April 23, 2017 – Time: 1500 Hrs.
Reported by: Lt. Scott Farrow
Company: Engine 81
Statement of Facts
On April 23, 2017, Engine 81 was dispatched at 1300 hours to after dispatch responded to a 911 call from a resident of said building. Dispatch was received at 1230 hours. We arrived at the scene of a Building Fire & Structure Collapse in progress. The fire was already breaking out of the windows and the structure had already begun to collapse upon arrival. All residents were rescued from the building, and all lives were accounted for. No bodies or body parts were found onsite at the time of investigation.
Evidence analysis later confirmed that the speed in which the fire spread to the entire building, i.e. within minutes, was due to white phosphorus in the air-conditioning vents. The residents later reported that the air-conditioning system had failed earlier this morning, and a maintenance crew was in the building. The fire broke out minutes after they left, stated a resident who saw them rushing out and found it suspicious.
The evidence retrieved from the site was traces of phosphorus on a set of work gloves that were still wet, found near the central air-conditioning unit, on the rooftop, which confirms that as the “point of origin.” Footprints lifted during evidence collection confirmed traces of the same, indicating someone had sprinkled a paste of phosphorus and water throughout the air-conditioning ducts, and fled away in a hurry, dropping their gloves in the process. The choice of incendiary material; white phosphorus, which catches fire as soon as it makes contact with air, and can only be handled wet also points towards arson.
Laboratory analysis revealed that the paste was indeed phosphorus, thus the cause of the fire is confirmed as arson. Upon rescuing the surviving residents, and after they were examined by the EMT’s, we asked them if they could identify any person(s) of interest, and they mentioned an ex building supervisor seen in an altercation with the building owner recently. Hence, the motive seems to have been revenge. The Police Department has been notified of this information.
Incident First Responder: Lt. Scott Farrow /Engine 81
Incident Commander: Chief James Bennett /Battalion 25
Requested by: Amanda Collins /Chief Arson Investigator
Last updated on