Blaze: The Forensics of Fire

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Macmillan, Aug 11, 2000 - Science - 190 pages
2 Reviews
Focusing on the most destructive fires of modern times, Nicholas Faith details the work of these investigators as they piece together causes of ignition, observe how fire spreads and smoke flows, and attempt to understand the behavior of those unlucky souls caught in the most fearsome infernos. Their work can convict arsonists or form the bases of legislation-making buildings safer for all of us.

Including information about the cataclysmic conflagrations at the MGM Grand and Our Lady of the Angels School, Blaze features first hand testimonies from people whose lives have been scarred by their encounters with fire. Nicholas Faith examines the fire-fighters who risk their lives tackling the blazes, and the investigators, safety engineers, and forensic scientists who scour gutted rubble heaps in the hope of understanding mankind's most complicated ally-and its most dangerous foe.

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Blaze: the forensics of fire

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In this new work, journalist and television writer Faith looks at fire and arson investigators as well as their investigations. Drawing on both research and a series of interviews he conducted, he ... Read full review

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As others have noted in reviews elsewhere, this is not really a "book." It is a hastily put-together companion for a video documentary. And not a particularly good one at that. A real book should be more than just interview transcriptions weakly woven together by insipid prose, but the latter is what Nicholas Faith has produced in this volume. The subject matter is interesting, but there are far better published works available. If you are looking for true fire forensics information, this volume can be used as an introduction but nothing more. Sadly, even several of the references are cited incorrectly. In short, this production should have either been killed or greatly improved by a good editor. I have not seen the original documentary, but it is probably much better than the resulting "book."  


The Investigators
Two Fires Two Traumas Two Triumphs
Tombstone Technology
Fatal Bits and Deadly Bobs
People Who Hate People
The Most Bullied Arsonist
The Strange Case of the Pillow Pyro
Were Only Human
Get Me Out of Here

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About the author (2000)

Nicholas Faith is a journalist and a writer for British television. He has written on topics as diverse as cognac, Bordeaux, Swiss banks, trains, trucks, ships, disasters, and forensic science. He has served as Industrial Editor of the Sunday Times and Assistant Editor of The Economist. He lives in London.

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