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Old 04-19-2019, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default What are the indicators that fire was started by electrical short?

Serious question: What signs would indicate that an electrical short circuit started the massive fire at the Notre Dame cathedral? Understand, I'm not trying to show any disrespect to fire investigators, even if they are French.

What sign could possible remain? How do we know something else didn't START the fire which then caused an electrical short circuit?

In the past I've heard the term "flash point" used in such investigations and could believe that in a smaller fire, like one on the wall behind a stove or near a heater, but something as massive as the ND cathedral fire, really????

Please, no Alex Jones-type responses. That can come later.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:25 PM   #2
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Couple of things that tend to lead towards electrical origin, Beading on the conductors, also associated with all fires is the "V" pattern that is left.


When they look for arching they find corresponding damage on the opposing conductor


They find Round, Smooth Shape - Some or all of the damage is rounded without jagged or rough surfaces and edges.


Resolidification waves concentric rings emanating from the
center of the arcing damage.


Large percentage of voids internal to the arc damage.


Spatter Deposits - small spherical globules ejected during arcing; can be located on surfaces away from the arcing location.


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Old 04-19-2019, 02:09 PM   #3
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But, as Bill said, how to use those signs to determine if the arcing occured prior to, or after the fire broke out?


I too, wonder how things on that scale can be conclusively investigated.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:24 PM   #4
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With the magnitude of damage and destruction there and the temperature of the fire it will be a very daunting task to separate source from affected area.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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Fire cause & origin is very easy. It's been studied ever since we've had fire and many people worldwide investigate it every day. Considerable resources have been invested in it.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:16 PM   #6
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Fire cause & origin is very easy. It's been studied ever since we've had fire and many people worldwide investigate it every day. Considerable resources have been invested in it.
Would you want to go walking around up there to investigate?


Yeah I know a drone would be a big help but still!
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:04 PM   #7
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I believe they're sending in robots first. Similar to the bomb squad robots.

After that I'm sure they'll have engineers, contractors and fire investigator teams walk through, so they can develop a plan to safely do what they need to do. It shouldn't take much time. They need images which they can get in a limited capacity from the robot, and they need materials samples which they may or may not be able to get from the robot.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:21 PM   #8
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I would think that the investigators have to be very experienced.
I think we could all understand how easy it would be to determine an electrical fire when the structure is still standing. But for something that has collapsed, it would be virtually impossible.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:39 PM   #9
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On a fire that intense, the actual origin will not be located.
From there its a matter of deduction.

Eyewitness will tell investigators where it might of started and when, and from there they'll figure out that no-one was around the area they're looking at. They'll look at what electrical was around, and what may have been working in that area, and pin it down from there. There is no gas there, no lighting, no people around...has to be something electrical if it's being used at the time.

I can't really see any other way of pinning it down.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:59 PM   #10
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Will they require AFCI protection on construction sites now?
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:00 PM   #11
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sometimes when a fire starts on old timbers the fire goes mostly up, and sometimes when that happens the origin can be located.

however, at this early stage it is most likely just speculation because real fire investigators take their sweet time.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:02 PM   #12
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Will they require AFCI protection on construction sites now?
Want to bet that will happen within 10 years if not sooner
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:25 PM   #13
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usually electrical is blamed when they don't know the real cause.
it's the whipping boy so to speak !
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:33 AM   #14
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A friend of mine is a volunteer firefighter, he works on investigations sometimes. Says if they don't know or have an idea after 30 min, it's blamed on electrical.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:07 AM   #15
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A friend of mine is a volunteer firefighter, he works on investigations sometimes. Says if they don't know or have an idea after 30 min, it's blamed on electrical.
Oh, so it comes down to a mathematical equation!


Nice!
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:17 PM   #16
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The first thing you wan't to do during any electrical short circuit fire is determine the rate of arson to exactly the same religious sect owned buildings that are being set on fire deliberately week after week in whatever particular country your are investigating a recent short circuit fire in. Let's say it was France for example, but you could substitute any country you like, Panama perhaps or maybe Canada or even Tahiti. If there is a trend exceeding 300 so far in. a years time, well - you have it Watson, the fire was Arson and not an electrical short circuit. Now all you have to do is publicly identify the usual suspects which is the most impossible task in all history since they made it a capitol crime worse than arson to release the identity of the actual culprits. But it could be any country and any culprits of course. Not trying to point out any specific group here, certainly not, I wouldn't do any such a thing. Not me. Shame on the finger pointers.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:17 PM   #17
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They're not using a volunteer firefighter to evaluate cause & origin on this one. No offense to Apelectric's friend.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
The first thing you wan't to do during any electrical short circuit fire is determine the rate of arson to exactly the same religious sect owned buildings that are being set on fire deliberately week after week in whatever particular country your are investigating a recent short circuit fire in. Let's say it was France for example, but you could substitute any country you like, Panama perhaps or maybe Canada or even Tahiti. If there is a trend exceeding 300 so far in. a years time, well - you have it Watson, the fire was Arson and not an electrical short circuit. Now all you have to do is publicly identify the usual suspects which is the most impossible task in all history since they made it a capitol crime worse than arson to release the identity of the actual culprits. But it could be any country and any culprits of course. Not trying to point out any specific group here, certainly not, I wouldn't do any such a thing. Not me. Shame on the finger pointers.
I used to get all the FFIR's (Florida Fire Incident Report) in my fax machine for anything in our city. I rode out to a single family and there's some beefy dude sitting in a lawn chair in the front yard. My only purpose was to determine if the building was still habitable, was a total loss and/ or if any permits would be required to make it habitable again. Without saying one word, that man quickly said "I didn't do anything to that receptacle. I didn't. I swear I didn't do anything to that receptacle. I swear to God." He wouldn't shut up about him "not doing" something.

Gee, I wonder how that fire started?

I don't know if he replaced a receptacle and screwed something up or if he intentionally did something nefarious, but either way, that was not my concern at the time.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:12 PM   #19
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They're not using a volunteer firefighter to evaluate cause & origin on this one. No offense to Apelectric's friend.
No offense taken at all, his method is quite lazy. Just putting it out there.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
The first thing you wan't to do during any electrical short circuit fire is determine the rate of arson to exactly the same religious sect owned buildings that are being set on fire deliberately week after week in whatever particular country your are investigating a recent short circuit fire in. Let's say it was France for example, but you could substitute any country you like, Panama perhaps or maybe Canada or even Tahiti. If there is a trend exceeding 300 so far in. a years time, well - you have it Watson, the fire was Arson and not an electrical short circuit. Now all you have to do is publicly identify the usual suspects which is the most impossible task in all history since they made it a capitol crime worse than arson to release the identity of the actual culprits. But it could be any country and any culprits of course. Not trying to point out any specific group here, certainly not, I wouldn't do any such a thing. Not me. Shame on the finger pointers.

So you want to use logic too?

That type of thinking just doesn't fly around here with some people, sad they can't see the forest for the trees.
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