Failure analysis is always an important part of any fire investigation when an electrical or mechanical system is involved. EFI Global experts regularly conduct failure analysis investigations to provide comprehensive, technical examinations that identify the failure and assigns responsibility when possible. 

Following a loss in the Midwest U.S. involving a large commercial building, state authorities conducted a fire cause and origin investigation.  The fire occurred after business hours and all equipment was shut down at the time of ignition. Initial conclusions identified the cause of the fire to be undetermined, with the origin being at or near an air compressor. Two days later, EFI Global was engaged by the insurance company to investigate the origin and cause of the fire. After performing an initial assessment, our experts identified subrogation potential, as a company had serviced the machine in question within 24 hours prior to the fire. After evidence was collected and transported to a secure EFI facility, a joint examination occurred with all parties including the service company, the installer, and EFI's investigator, engineer and metallurgist. 

Further examination of the evidence and heat patterns determined the air compressor failed due to defective contacts in the starter motor, thereby not allowing the air compressor to shut down. While the service company and installer ultimately decided to settle the case, there was a second demand for subrogation from an adjacent building. However, our experts' thorough investigation and testimony at deposition exposed weaknesses in the defendant's position, ultimately allowing our clients to recover approximately $1.7 million.

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