An Investigator and friend who broke me into fire investigation recently retired and at his party we got to talking about old times and cases. I thanked him for his patience when I first started and taking the time to educate me about the business and how to do it right and not get tunnel vision about details while processing fire scenes.

As time went on and I gained more experience, I ended up at a call in his jurisdiction. I was assigned to photo document the scene. There was indications that it was incendary so I requested his department's 100ft ladder so I could get a "gods eye view" of the scene ant the surrounding area.

The on scene battalion chief balked at the idea saying that it didn't need to be done. It would hold over a crew on overtime and I was just going overboard. I persisted and with the help of the supervising investigator the truck was called for. when it was set up, I climbed to the top and got the shots I wanted but while up there I noticed something in the woods 50 yards behind the house and used the intercom to direct the investigator to what I was looking at

what I saw was two gas cans that were later linked to the fire by the lab. The case went to the state fire marshals office and they took it from there

My point is investigators and their assistants should use every reasource even if it seems extravagant. You may get a break in the end because I once took a photograph from a firebuff who took a picture of a service van in the back of the building had a gas soaked rag hanging out of the gas tank. The truck was removed from the scene by the owner as the fire got worse and the evidence would have been lost had that citizen photographer not came forward or I would not have asked him to give me copies of the pictures he took that night 

Can anybody else share with the group any expierence they have like this so we can benifit? 

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