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Fire Investigators

History

Arson—that is, fires that are deliberately set to cause property damage so owners may collect insurance money, to cover up a crime, as a malicious act, or for other reasons—is a leading cause of fire-related injuries, deaths, and property damage in the United States. The National Fire Protection Association reports that fires in the U.S. caused 3,655 civilian deaths, 15,200 civilian injuries, and $25.6 billion in property damage in 2018. In this same year, 64 firefighters died in duty-related incidents. Determining whether a fire was caused by an arsonist can help put criminals behind bars. However, catching an arsonist is very complicated. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, only 15 percent of all arson cases are closed by an arrest.