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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82445 Find in a Library
Title: Rural Fire Investigation
Author(s): J Tate; J Zeiger; N Sickler; S Grennan
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 7
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Focusing on the investigation of rural fires, this paper addresses fire protection, inspection, incendiary causes, and investigation difficulties.
Abstract: In the past, the term rural fire would have been used only in connection with farmhouses, barns, outbuildings, farm machinery, sheds, and miscellaneous storage structures. Frequently, the fire department was not called because no one saw the fire, no means of communication existed, or the fire department was too far away. This situation has changed drastically, primarily because of the establishment of volunteer fire departments in remote areas. As a result of this improved fire protection, fewer structures in rural areas are completely destroyed by fire. In addition, building codes and fire codes are observed during fire inspections of rural areas. One study conducted in 1965 revealed that the same percentage of rural fires as urban fires are caused by arson. Suspicious fires in rural areas fall into three categories, including revenge or spite fires, fires in a series, or insurance fires. The revenge fire is the easiest to investigate because the property owner usually has some idea of probable suspects and the fire is not carefully planned. The rural fire fraud committed to collect insurance is the most difficult to investigate for three reasons. The act is committed at the convenience of the owner, destruction in a rural fraud fire is complete, and the investigation is often delayed. It is the responsibility of the State or county fire marshal to conduct a thorough investigation. Three footnotes and three bibliographical references are provided.
Index Term(s): Arson; Arson investigations; Fire losses; Property damage; Rural crime
Note: Fire/Arson Investigation Research Paper, January 5-22, 1982
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