If you haven’t already seen the program, Burned: “20/20″ Investigates Three Alleged Arson Cases with the Help of the Nation’s Leading Fire Experts and the Latest Techniques, then you should consider treating yourself to some very interesting — and rather disturbing — viewing

After watching the 20/20 special, I thought to myself that most of the “facts” used in the decades prior — when lives were destroyed by inaccurate, non-scientifically based investigations — had actually been put to rest by the fire scientist. I was surprised when I began internet research and found many documents, articles, and training programs that still build investigations based on these myths and old wives’ tales. Why are we observing the continuation of these tales when many have been disproved and reportedly, put to bed? The main reason is that for many fire investigators, their training began and ended with the fire service. During my 31 years in the fire service, we learned what fire patterns to look for at a blaze but rarely the science behind the information.

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