Arson Investigator Visits with Forensic Science Students

Don Gross

February 3, 2016

As part of the FORS 200 - Forensic Seminar guest lecture series, Donald Gross, Fire Investigator/Explosive Technician with the city of Lincoln Bureau of Fire Prevention, gave a presentation about his work in fire code enforcement, fire investigation, bomb squad and public fire education.

Gross indicated that “Fire is a science” and explained how investigators study the predictable patterns and behavior of fire based on environmental conditions.  They use the scientific method during an investigation and utilize about 85% information and 15% evidence to figure out what or who started the fire, how the fire was started, and why.

According to Gross, finger print evidence can survive a fire and most aspects of traditional forensic evidence can be applied to fire investigations.  To pursue a career as a fire investigator, you need a background in science, math, statistics, mechanics, structural, and fire science.

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