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.
Re: Horrible Kentucky Supreme Court decision overturned
Posted by: greg.gorbett
Date: February 24, 2017 08:35AM
I was going to leave this post alone, however, I have had several colleagues that know my work and my opinion on this matter reach out to me via private message or telephone to ask me what was actually said and meant....I feel obligated that I should clear the record on this.
I think, as with everything, you need to read the entire decision and not just snippets out of the document. The biggest concern my colleagues are having is the statement in the order that says “experts testified once full room involvement is reached in a structure, fire pattern analysis, in the absence of other physical evidence, is no longer a valid methodology to determine cause or area of origin” (p.5). And out of context this sounds really bad and not something that I would ever testify to – especially those that know me and my work. As with many court opinions --- that is not exactly what was said. I testified that how the Commonwealth's experts used fire patterns analysis (specifically holes in the floor) in an attempt to determine multiple origins in rooms that had reached FRI was not an acceptable methodology – btw that is not a novel theory.
However, I think the order clarifies this when you read the very next paragraph: “the misidentification of multiple areas of origin based on deep burning patterns (i.e. holes in the floor) that could be attributed to ventilation oriented patterns. Under modern fire investigation methodology, when full room involvement has occurred in a structure, multiple areas of origin cannot be identified unless they are separate and distinct. The holes in the floor of the trailer were all in close proximity to heating and air conditioning ductwork. In a ventilation controlled fire, this would be expected. Based on scientific studies, this would be more reasonable and likely explanation for the holes in the floor compared to the presence of an ignitable liquid” (p.5-6).
Hopefully this clears this up – as with everything the record would speak for itself. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.