Issue 8 and Volume 159.

BY GEORGE A. CODDING AND JOHN A. BOHN Fires have a way of becoming court cases. The condition of physical evidence can be critical to the outcome of any criminal or civil court case. These days, attorneys and courts are becoming more involved in the business of public safety, and the efforts fire departments make to protect evidence are being scrutinized as never before. Until a fire scene is turned over to fire investigators, the firefighter and fireground commander must take steps to secure the scene and any evidence within it. These steps will help the investigation and will help the department avoid any accusation that it compromised valuable court evidence. PRESERVING THE FIRE SCENE FOR INVESTIGATION Preserving the fire scene is critical to a successful arson arrest and prosecution. It also helps determine the truth in civil litigation, whether there should be insurance payment, and which insurance company is…

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