Commercial shopping center fire, Ixtapaluca, Mexico
August 25, 2015
Forensic Engineering & Failure Analysis, Fire Origin and Cause
A fire at a commercial shopping center resulted in over $100 million dollars in direct fire damage and business interruption claims from over 60 merchants.The Envista Forensics Fire Investigation division dispatched a team of seasoned fire investigators, an electrical engineer and a forensic technician.
The Envista team of fire investigators and engineers assessed the damages and immediately took the necessary measures to coordinate the fire investigation activities for this complex loss. A fire investigation protocol was proposed by our team of experts. While the site was still under control of the local authorities, our team coordinated the informal and formal interviews with mall employees, security personnel, and witnesses who were able to obtain video footage of the fire in its incipient stage. Once the site was released, our team initiated its forensic examination of the fire scene.
The team of fire investigators found that this fire originated within the storage warehouse of a local merchant. Utilizing a forensic grid search of the debris and arc mapping analysis in the warehouse, fire investigators were able to determine that an appliance was improperly connected to the electrical branch circuits powering the fluorescent light fixtures installed in the warehouse.