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The science of fire origin and cause investigation can be a very complex subject. No two fires are ever alike and therefore, every fire investigation has its own particular set of challenges. However, regardless of whether the investigation is for a small vehicle fire or a large commercial loss, many of the steps used in competent fire investigation are the same.

NFPA 921, the National Fire Protection Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigations, is a guide that outlines the accepted approach and methods used in fire investigation. The basic principles incorporated center around the scientific method. The scientific method involves some very specific steps, beginning with identifying the problem and concluding with the selection of a final hypothesis.

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