Se habla español


Right Type of Fire Report Helps Your Civil Lawsuit

Home » Right Type of Fire Report Helps Your Civil Lawsuit
December 19, 2015
Edward Smith

Requesting the Correct Fire Report for Your Civil Lawsuit

The right type of fire report can help your civil lawsuit. A residential or commercial fire can be devastating both physically and emotionally. A fire can destroy a home or office building, consuming important documents or priceless mementos and artifacts, but a fire can also result in severe emotional and/or mental trauma.

If your home or apartment building was destroyed in a fire, your ability to pursue compensation in a civil lawsuit depends on evidence suggesting that another person’s carelessness or negligence contributed to the fire or the severity of your injuries or losses. Your attorney will need to consult with one or more fire reports to discover this critical information.

Different Types of Fire Reports Available

Depending on your location and resources, there may only be one fire report available. However, even a single fire report can contain important clues and information. Your attorney may seek to discover:

  • The National Fire Incident Reporting System Report (NFIRS report): California participates in this voluntary reporting system. Standards promulgated by the National Fire Association require every fire department to complete an NFIRS report for every fire responded to regardless of the location or type of fire involved. The report will contain information regarding the department(s) that responded to the fire, the time the call was made, the identification of the responding individuals and units, the work performed by the responding teams, and the resolution of the call. Contacting the local fire department involved (for example, the Sacramento Fire Department) is often the easiest way of obtaining a copy of the NFIRS report.
  • Municipal fire investigation reports: If a fire department has an investigative unit (some larger cities do), this unit may prepare its own investigative report to be submitted to the California Office of the State Fire Marshal and, from there, on to the U.S. Fire Administration. These reports may not be available in every case; however, investigative units may prepare these reports if the fire resulted in injury or death, a significant property loss, and/or is suspected of being started with criminal intent. In addition to the information contained in an NFIRS report, these reports may describe whether it is believed any human activity contributed to the ignition of the fire. The State Fire Marshal’s office will have a copy of this report if one is prepared and submitted.
  • Private fire reports: You or the insurance company involved in the loss may hire a private fire investigator to investigate the fire, especially where there is no municipal fire report and/or any available reports containing few details. Private fire reports are typically ordered by insurance companies when there is a significant loss, and it is uncertain or suspicious of how the fire began.

An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to request a fire report for your fire incident. Through the discovery process, your attorney can learn whether the defendant and/or an insurance company ordered a private fire report, the name of the individual who performed that report, the company for whom this individual worked, and the investigation results. Your attorney should also be able to obtain a copy of any private fire report, even if you did not order one to be completed.

Contact Our Sacramento Burn Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Burn Injury Attorney. You must take immediate action to protect your rights and your ability to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit if you or a loved one has suffered a loss in a fire. Call our law firm today at (916) 921-6400 or 800-404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See a list of our past cases on our verdicts and settlements page and our client reviews on AvvoYelp, Google.

Photo by Thomas Ehling on Unsplash

[cs 655]