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1. Discuss the different methods of heat transfer and which method is most likely to be responsible for each of the following:

a. Ignition of papers in the room where a fire starts

b. Ignition of electrical wiring in a room adjoining the fire’s point or origin

c. Ignition of roof timbers

d. Ignition of a neighboring house

2. Why are some traces of the accelerants used in an arson usually found even after intense fires?

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2. Why are some traces of the accelerants used in an arson usually found even after intense fires?

By comparing select gas chromatographic peaks recovered from fire-scene debris to known flammable liquids, a forensic analyst may be able to identify the accelerant used to initiate the fire.

Most arsons are started with petroleum-based accelerants that may evaporate within a matter of days or even hours. Prompt determination of the fire’s origin may be necessary to prevent a recurrence of a fire caused by faulty wiring or equipment. Immediate investigation may also be necessary to preserve evidence from intentional or accidental destruction. Safety and health conditions may necessitate that cleanup and salvage operations begin as quickly as possible. Once cleanup efforts begin, it is impossible to conduct a meaningful investigation of the fire scene.
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