Fire Origin & Cause


According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were approximately 212,500 vehicle fires in 2018. More than 42,700 of these fires were caused by equipment failure, and more than 9,300 were the result of arson. Vehicle fires can be divided into three general categories: improper service or repair, manufacturer's defect, or arson.

VMAR engineers, who are Certified Vehicle Fire Investigators (CVFI), carefully inspect a burned vehicle to determine the origin and cause of the fire. We carefully examine the fire damage and burn patterns to identify the origin of the fire. We then inspect the area of fire origin for an ignition source, such as electrical or mechanical system components. Then we look for combustible materials, such as flammable fluids, carpet, upholstery, or added accelerants.

For example, we examine all of the electrical wiring in the area of fire origin for evidence of short circuits, along with examining the fuse panel and individual fuses. Or the facts of loss and investigation may lead us to mechanical components such as fuel rails, lines, or injectors, or brake system components such as the master cylinder. (This is just a brief example of possible causes.) We also methodically examine the vehicle's mechanical and electrical systems to determine the condition of those systems before and after the fire.

When You Need to Know . . .

  • What caused the fire in this case?
  • Could the fire be the result of a manufacturer’s defect, or improper service or repair work?
  • What was the condition of the engine and transmission prior to the fire?
  • Is there a likelihood of arson?
  • Can subrogation be successfully pursued in this case?

Detail of Fire Origin & Cause Investigation and Analysis Service

  • File review (including examination of fire report and vehicle repair records)
  • Phone interviews of involved parties (when assigned)
  • Vehicle inspection, including examination of electrical and fuel system components, flammable vehicle fluid examination and evaluation, and engine and transmission analysis to determine condition prior to the fire
  • Research vehicle wiring schematics (when applicable)
  • Submission of engine oil and transmission fluid for independent laboratory analysis (when applicable)
  • Thorough photo documentation of inspection and investigation process
  • Establish proper chain of custody and evidence storage (when needed)
  • Coordination and file documentation
  • Preparation of a fully detailed written report

Our 21 Day

In the world of claims adjusting we know that you usually have only a 30-day window in which to determine the merits of a claim. That's why we promise to handle your assignment and get the completed report into your hands within 21 calendar days.

And we back our promise with this guarantee:

If we do not get your assignment completed within 21 calendar days, then we cut your cost in half.