"V" Patterns + Inverted Cone Patterns + Hourglass Patterns
= Confusion. Fire Findings, Vol. 3, Issue No. 1, Winter 1995.
Abstract: This article explains the various "V" patterns
an investigator might come across. Most fire moves up an out creating a
"V" pattern. Abnormal fires create inverted "v" patterns.
Most investigators have associated inverted "V" patterns with
accelerants. Section 4 of NFPA 921 states that any fuel source can cause
inverse "V" patterns. When a fire burns against combustible wall,
it creates an inverted "V" pattern. As the fire burns up and out
it reaches the ceiling. Now the fire can no longer burn up, only out. This
creates an hourglass pattern that consists of both a "V" pattern
and an inverse "V" pattern. As the fire progresses, the hourglass
pattern becomes a common "V" pattern. If the fire is stopped before
the fire reaches the ceiling, an inverted "V" pattern may remain
for fire investigators. This pattern is not an accurate indicator of an
accelerant, or arson.
For more information, contact:
Fire Findings L.L.C.
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PO Box 8637
Benton Harbor, MI 49023
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