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Prosthetic Foreheads
04-19-2006, 03:44 AM
Does anyone know of any good websites on the subject of fires and arson? An actual expert would be great, but I'm not holding my breath. I need information on types of accelerants, physical evidence to suggest arson, chemical tests that might be run, etc. Any help/leads at all would be greatly appreciated.

Prosthetic Foreheads
04-19-2006, 04:01 AM
Okay, after searching these forums, I discovered that there is a fellow AWer who is an arson expert, BradyH1861. However, I noticed that he hasn't posted in a couple of months. Does anyone know him or if he's open to receiving e-mail from a stranger (me)? I don't think a PM would do much good, as he hasn't been around these parts lately. Thanks, again.


ETA: I just read Brady's final few posts and didn't realize he's going through a rough personal time. I suppose I will seek the information I need elsewhere.

MadScientistMatt
04-19-2006, 03:19 PM
Here's one interesting link.

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mfireorigin.html

On the subject of accelerants, it's amazing what uses you can find for unlikely spray can contents. I once used my wife's can of Secret spray-on deodorant to start a campfire by spraying it on pinecones and lighting them. And the usual explosive used in potato cannons is Aqua Net hairspray. Now that CFC's have been banned in spray cans, many of them use butane, propane, or other highly flamable hydrocarbons as propellants. Plus a lot of those things use alchohol as a base.

Prosthetic Foreheads
04-25-2006, 07:50 AM
Thanks, Matt. That's actually a very helpful article. As far as accelerants go, in my story, the arsonist burns down a restaurant, so I'm considering having him use peanut oil and/or vegetable oil (shortening). I worked in restaurants for years and these are both readily available and flammable. I'm thinking it could work. Thank again, Matt.

MadScientistMatt
04-25-2006, 04:15 PM
Cooking oil? I could see that working, although as I don't have any experience firsthand with it catching on fire (other than one amusing bacon grease mishap). Will that burn if you use a cigarette lighter on it?

BTW, every time I see your screen name I can't help but hear "We Want a Rock" playing in the background. I was joking to a friend a while ago that they must write some of their songs by playing Mad Libs.