Investigating an arson criminal case can be quite complex and confusing. Detectives must understand not only all the different elements that could have started the fire, but also how the fire was able to be started in the first place. While every investigation is different depending on the scope of the incident, there are definitely general indicators that can point you in the right direction for finding the person responsible.
Generally, the investigation starts with the fire itself. In order to start a fire, the individual needs three things: oxygen, a fuel source, and heat. These three things make up what is called the fire triangle. To start a successful fire, the oxygen concentration in the room must be more than 16%, the fuel source needs to be any flammable substance (not to be confused with accelerators, which make the fire burn faster), and the heat needs to be at least at the ignition temperature of the flame.
Many times a detective will return to the scene of the crime in order to determine whether or not any part of the naturally occurring elements of the fire triangle had been tampered with. Examples of this might include having all of the windows in the room or house open in order to increase oxygen exposure, or grouping together flammable objects to create a steady energy source. These kinds of things are indicators that the fire was indeed arson and can provide clues into the mind of the criminal.
This is how the arson investigation process starts. Over time, through sophisticated use of modern technologies, they eventually find out who is responsible.
If you would like more information about arson crimes and how they can be stopped, or if you need representation, call San Jose arson defense lawyer Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C., at (408) 296-4100 for your criminal law consultation today.