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Demonstration fires up students’ interest in CSI skills

17 March 2015


Students on crime scene and forensic science courses gained hands-on experience in a fire demonstration.

The students, from the BSc (Hons) Crime Scene Science, BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and MSc Forensic Science, were able to hone their fire investigation skills at the display organised by the JC Fire training company.

A container unit, set up to recreate a bedsit, was parked in the University's East Parkside Village car park then set ablaze to show how quickly flames spread.

Students watched as a mock bedsit quickly went from calm to small flame to blaze, before discovering how investigators work to determine what caused the problem.

After it was extinguished using 15 litres of water, students were then shown fire investigation procedures, which included sending in Jack the spaniel to find accelerants, before taking a closer look themselves.

'It’s a chance for them to come out of the classroom and feel the heat,' said Peter Beveridge, senior lecturer in forensic investigation and former crime scene investigator with Durham Police.

John Caulton travels around the country with the JC Fire mobile facility. As well as universities, the former fire investigator also provides training to the fire service.

He said: 'It's a chance for them to put their skills to the test in a real-life fire scene with all the evidence in place.'

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