Case Study

Construction Fire Investigation – Burlington, MA

The King’s Bowl of Burlington, MA was in the process of construction to become an upscale combination nightclub, restaurant and bowling facility. The large single-story building was under construction when a fire was reported to the Burlington fire department. The responding fire fighters used thermal image cameras that revealed fire from the ceiling to floor level in the bar area. Large portions of the building collapsed during fire extinguishment.

Our insured was a floor installer and had been using epoxy earlier on the day of the fire which placed him high on the ignition cause list. The investigation revealed that several other contractors were working on the same day. Our insured and his workers left at approximately 4:00 p.m. and other contractors reportedly left at a later time and the last one was reported leaving at 9:00 p.m. Our insured did return after dinner at 6:00 p.m. to insure everything was in good condition and ready for the next day. At least two contractors were still working.

Our fire scene investigation was conducted over a 4-day fire scene examination. Our insured received a letter of notice with several other related contractors. A significant amount of fire debris was removed both by machine and hand digging. Over the course of the investigation, we were able to recover the remains of our insured’s equipment and tools. The equipment and tools were neatly stored and wrapped.

Our investigation was able to determine that a back door was found unlocked and left open. We were able to determine that an incendiary cause and several capable accidental causes could not be eliminated. Based on the available information, scene examination and interviews, it was our opinion to a reasonable degree of professional certainty, that the origin and cause of the fire cannot be determined. The cause of the fire in accordance with the “Scientific Method of Fire Investigation” was classified as “Undetermined”.

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