A place to ask questions and add to probative and informative discussions associated with the various aspects of the field of fire investigation. -- FORUM RULES---BE CIVIL AND NO NAME CALLING, NO BELITTLING, NO BERATING, NO DENIGRATING others. Postings in violation of these rules can be removed or editted to remove the offending remarks at the discretion of the moderators and/or site administrator.
Spontaneous combustion of sawdust
Date: August 21, 2011 06:02PM
I had a fire yesterday at a residence and the owner had a pile of cut fire wood approximantely two feet from the outside wall. Next to this was a pile of old dimensional lumber which was imbedded into the grass along with some PVC pipe. The fire was at ground level and burned up the wood siding and into the attic. I overhauled the area and no ignition could be found. I lifted up the dimensional lumber and I found sawdust and alot of termites. On one of the pieces of lumber which was at the bottom I observed charrng around a large hole and charring to the rest of the wood. Is it possible for the sawdust created by the termites to self ignite. This happen around 1500 hrs. the temperature was in the high 70's. No one smokes and no electricalin the area. Neighbors saw no activity in the side yard prior to the fire nor were there any fireworks. I know this is a strech, but I'm open to sugestions
Bruce G. Pulver IAAI CFI
Deputy Fire Marshal
Snohomish County Fire Marshal's Office
Everett, WA 98201