A devastating fire, explosion, or some other catastrophic loss presents complex issues that require immediate and effective handling. If such an event results in significant property damage, business loss, injuries, or fatalities, an immediate and thorough response can be critical to success in defense litigation. This is particularly true when rules regarding spoliation of evidence are constantly changing. Parties that were accustomed to receiving notice of claims months or years after the loss occurred are now being invited to examine the scene of the incident within hours or days. (See Accident Investigation) With such short notice it is often problematic for clients to mount an investigation sufficient to protect their interests in future litigation.
FP&R’s fire and explosion response team can quickly be on the scene, ready to take the investigative lead and minimize any adverse effects to our client. The FP&R team immediately assembles a team of investigative experts who go on scene to preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and document information from appropriate authorities. A proper fire or explosion investigation includes determining the source of ignition or detonation, the first fuel ignited, the circumstances of ignition, why the fire was not suppressed or controlled by the fire suppression system, and what factors allowed the fire to spread. Only then can we fully and accurately analyze the potential liability and identify the persons or entities responsible for the incident and damage. Our clients find that conducting a thorough investigation as early as possible ultimately avoids most litigation and saves significant expenses in the long run.