Fire Investigation Pattern Analysis

Assignment Requirements


There are 20 photographs but each only needs a short description of the fire scene that identifies observed pattern; type of pattern & the extent & direction of fire spread..

Try to use this basic sequence as a guide:

Location– In this geographic location

E.g. The southern wall showed……

Intensity – The type and description of the fire pattern.

E.g. A clean burn pattern on  the external metal sheeting

Observation– What you observe about the projection or level of damage within the pattern.

E.g. The pattern projected from ground level at the south east corner, where the metal sheeting displayed heat demarcation and extensive distortion of the sheet . The pattern outline rising and decreasing in intensity to the western end of the shed.

Indication– What you interpreted from the pattern.

E.g. The fire patterns indicating the fire had initially developed in the vicinity of the southeast corner of the shed, with prolonged exposure to direct flame contact in this area

The above is obviously fairly generic in detail, so dependent on the nature and construction type of your building etc., consider the , level of consumption, depth of charring to timbers, melting of aluminium frames etc., etc.,  but hopefully you get the concept.

Where a significant level of consumption is present it is valuable to describe this in detail as can validates your origin and cause determinations.


The only reference books we have are:

NFPA 921 (2011), Guide for fire & explosion investigations. National Fire  Protection Association,
Dehaan, J. D., & Icove, D. J. (2012) Kirks fire investigation. Pearson Education



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