Experts explain how fires are ruled arson - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Experts explain how fires are ruled arson

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59News has learned from the State Fire Marshal two fires are confirmed arson and two others remain under investigation.  The State Fire Marshall said the fire on Bacontown Road in Jonben has been ruled an arson as well as the Lee Street fire in Mabscott.

59News was wondering what goes into ruling a fire arson.

"There is somewhat of an art to it but there is defiantly science factor behind it," Lt. Ernie Parsons with the Beckley Fire Department said.  Lt. Parsons has been a fire investigator for the Beckley Department since 2008. It's a role that involves a lot of training and experience. He said investigation fires are not easy.

"The fire investigation in and of itself is very difficult and it kind of really depends on the severity of the fire so you can kind of look at it and check out the patterns the way it burns the way it spreads," Lt. Parsons said.

Studying the smoke and fire patterns is not the only key to cracking a case. The public's help is critical to help solve an arson investigation.  Witnesses are critical to the investigation. 

Lt. Parsons said anyone with any information about any of the fires in Raleigh County is encouraged to call law enforcement, the fire department or the State Fire Marshal's Office.

To read the original story about these fires click here.