Issue 2 and Volume 155.

HAVING BECOME MULTIDISCIPLINARY, FIRE INVESTIGATION TODAY REACHES OUT TO AREAS OF EXPERTISE UNAVAILABLE TO FIRE INVESTIGATORS IN THE PAST. BY CHARLES G. KING AND JAMES I. EBERT, Ph.D. Fire investigation involves tediously putting together bits and scraps of burned and unburned material found at a fire scene to reconstruct as closely as possible the original condition of a room, a house, a barn, a boat, a plane, or any other structure or vehicle. Methodologies used to investigate a fire include drawing schematics, layering debris, photographing, sifting, vertical and horizontal excavations, and reconstructing small and large artifacts that exemplify how people negotiate the day-to-day challenges of human life. What fire investigators do may be termed “real-time archaeology.” The fire investigator’s “pit” is the fire scene. Fire investigators, however, have the unique advantage of living in the society they investigate. In viewing and exploring the remains of a fire, the investigator knows…

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