ARCCA was asked to investigate a tractor trailer fire.  The tractor trailer had been parked after a full day of normal use without any indications from the driver of any mechanical or electrical issues.

Steps Taken:

  • ARCCA’s expert researched the tractor’s make, model and year for wiring configuration and diagrams, as well as reports or complaints of fire.
  • The expert inspected the truck as preserved and as stored in an access-controlled lot.
  • The expert performed an external fire pattern analysis of the truck.
  • The expert performed an in-cab and engine compartment fire pattern analysis.
  • The expert located the battery compartment and traced all battery harnesses to and from the engine and cab.

  • The expert reviewed photographs of the scene of the fire.
  • The expert reviewed repair records for the truck.

Final Findings:

Based on the fire pattern analysis, the fire originated somewhere in the cab as opposed to the engine.  Although fire-damaged, the engine still had its forward aluminum radiators, which would normally be melted in an engine fire.  The cab was completely gutted, and the glass fractured and fell outwards as opposed to inwards, which would be typical if fire had started in the engine and spread to the cab.

A trace of the main battery electrical lines revealed no signs of arcing in any of the service lines to the engine compartment.  There were no signs of electrical activity in any of the lines within the cab.  Because the cab was gutted by the fire and subsequently washed out with water from fire hoses during fire suppression, the cause and origin of the fire inside of the cab could not be determined.

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