Structure Fires

Dr. Martin, principal of Martin Thermal Engineering Inc., has served as consulting and/or testifying expert on approximately 350 cases. Below are several examples of projects and issues he has addressed in the area of structure and wildland fires.

  • iStock_000016435169XSmallResidence Fires. Residence fires involving property damage and personal injury; causation attributed to smoking materials, candles, electrical wiring, furnaces, water heaters, spontaneous combustion, and misuse of flammable materials.
  • Restaurant Fires. Fires originating on cooking surfaces, in exhaust ducts and within electric machinery, frequently involving accumulated grease, failure of fire suppression equipment, and non-compliant duct construction.
  • Lumber Mill Fires. Rotary screw compressor failures involving pressure vessel rupture, oil mist explosion, and rapid fire spread, causing injuries and property damage.
  • Paint Shop Fires. Rapid fire spread through combustible materials stored in paint and coating application areas.
  • Incendiary (Arson) Fires. Fires. Residential fires involving unusual burn patterns and no evidence of accidental or natural ignition sources in the area of origin.
  • Kerosene Heater Fire. A homeowner was fatally injured when attempting to re-fill a kerosene heater while it was operating.
  • Chemical Warehouse Fire. A divided warehouse storing garden supplies and pharmaceuticals caught fire due to spontaneous combustion of a swimming pool chemical, causing over $100 million in property damage.
  • Wildland Fire. Investigation of large-scale fire affecting multiple residences caused by failure of vehicle trailer ramps and production of mechanical sparks that ignited dry grass.
  • Coke Calciner Fire. A coke refining facility suffered property damage when a conveyor belt overheated, ignited, and conveyed burning solids throughout the facility before the emergency shutdown was actuated.
  • Hydrometallurgical Plant Fire. A refining plant utilizing an organometallic process to extract a primary metal from its ore caught fire when a small amount of the extraction liquid spilled into an uncovered electrical junction box.
  • Fire Spread Analyses. Non-compliance with fire and mechanical codes leading to rapid fire spread.