How to Write a Fire Investigation Report

tomispin/iStock/Getty Images

A fire investigation report is an important summary of the investigation into the causes of a fire. The report will cover the fire itself, detailing the location, structures involved, the fire investigators on the scene, the origination of the fire, how the fire started and detail any suspects implicated in starting the fire. The fire investigation report must provide all evidence, witness and suspect statements, as well as conclusions and recommendations offered by the fire investigative team.

Provide a summary of the fire. Specify the location of the fire, the time of the fire, all departments and investigators responding and the type of structure damaged by the fire. Describe where the fire originated, how the fire started, name any suspects suspicious of starting the fire including how you arrived at such suspicions, and record any witness making statements to support that suspicion.

Detail all evidence in the next section of the fire report by outlining all evidence collected at the scene, how the evidence was processed and any laboratory results on that evidence. Record any statements regarding the evidence by third parties, such as a pair of gloves found at the scene being traced back to a suspect's credit card.

List all witnesses in the next section. You will need to record the name of the witness, the address of each witness, phone number, date of birth and occupation.

Write all statements from each witness in the next section. You should record exactly what the witness said in relation to the fire and any suspects implicated.

Write all statements made by the suspect accused of starting the fire, if any, in the next section. You should include this regardless of whether the suspect implicates himself in the arson attempt.

Record all legal statutes broken by any suspects in the next section. You will need to name the actual penal code and record the exact wording of that penal code.

Finish your fire investigation report with all conclusions and recommendations made by the fire investigative team in relation to the fire itself, the suspect and potential prosecution.

Tips

  • Keep in mind that your fire investigation report requires a concise approach and accurate spelling and grammar. Your peers, superiors, attorneys, law enforcement and political figures will ultimately read the report.

Warnings

  • Do not attempt to write your fire investigation report until you complete the investigation. New evidence might change your final conclusion or implicate others, rather than the original suspect.

References

About the Author

Kenneth W. Michael Wills is a writer on culture, society and business. With more than 15 years of experience in sales, public relations and written communications, Wills' passion is delighting audiences with invigorating perspectives and refreshing ideas. He has ghostwritten articles on a diverse range of topics for corporate websites and composed proposals for organizations seeking growth opportunities.

Photo Credits

  • tomispin/iStock/Getty Images