The Primary mission of the California Conference of Arson Investigators is the reduction of arson through the establishment of a professional organization which will:
Provide, develop, and support the establishment of training, educational programs and educational materials to improve the quality of fire investigations.
To support and/or sponsor legislation which will improve the quality of fire investigations and reduce the incidents of arson.
To provide a network of coordination and information sharing for identification, apprehension, and prosecution of those responsible for the acts of arson.
Information will be coming soon
Members and Friends
As you all are aware, we at CCAI want you to be informed. Therefore, I will relate to you an incident that happened in Irvine, CA.
A young school teacher was living in an upscale three story apartment complex on the second floor. The apartment had one bathroom, one bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen area off the living room. The ceiling above the kitchen was at 7 feet while the rest of the apartment was standard height of 8 feet. The apartment has fire sprinklers and one sprinkler is located above the kitchen counter and would reflect water onto the range and counter top if activated.
For some reason the school teacher was burning a Citronella candle on the counter top adjacent to the sink. The candle she purchased was in a small metal bucket with a hoop handle; the candle was not confined in glass. The teacher was washing dishes in the sink when her cat jumped onto the counter top and knocked over the bucket containing the candle. She reacted and reached for the toppled candle with both hands. In one hand she had a glass that she was washing, which contained an amount of water. Some of the water went into the bucket with the candle. A flame came out of the bucket and caused the sprinkler to activate. The water from the sprinkler also got into the bucket and there was an explosion. This entire event happened in a matter of seconds. After the explosion, no more fire, however, the sprinkler was still flowing water and things were getting wet on the first and second floor.
The thought of a candle exploding was a mystery to me and investigator partner, Harry Hatch. We checked several stores trying to purchase the same type of candle the school teacher had described, but no luck. We wanted to see just what the candle would do and also prove or disprove the event.
After looking up Citronella candle fires on the net, we were very surprised to learn that yes, if you add water to a burning Citronella candle it will flare up and sometimes cause an explosion. We all learn something all the time. Be informed and go to yahoo, type in Citronella candle fires and have a look at the videos; you may be as surprised as we were.
Do not be afraid to write us with your hints or new investigation experiences. CCAI is in the business to keep you up to date and informed.
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