During the early morning hours an intense fire destroyed the contents of an approximately 157,000-square-foot warehouse located in Seclin, France. The entire stock of computer products stored there was destroyed by the fire, which spread rapidly through the combustible stock placed in high-rack storage. The warehouse was not compartmentalized or equipped with a sprinkler system. RTI was asked to determine the origin of the fire and whether arson could be the cause. This required the identification of all potential ignition sources and the reconstruction of the fire growth and spread scenarios.
RTI conducted a comprehensive examination of the fire site, interviewed key witnesses and reviewed and analyzed vast amounts of evidence and documents related to the case. RTI preformed on-site laser mapping and visibility evaluation of fire witnesses' line-of-site observations and created a computer animation incorporating information for the overall investigation. In addition, extensive benchtop ignition scenario testing as well as full-scale stored goods fire tests were conducted.
RTI determined that there was not enough evidence to establish arson as the cause of the fire, but found that an accidental ignition could be supported by the evidence and was consistent with all related facts. This resulted in a very favorable settlement during the trial.
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