A Video on How Not to Set an Arson for Profit Fire

The Tale of the Incompetent Arsonist

A video from Barry Zalma available at https://youtu.be/ebGEkaL3euc

Most people do not understand how hard it is to set fire to a house that destroys the entire dwelling and its contents. Most residences simply do not have sufficient combustibles in the right place to allow for a sustained fire. Many homes, especially the more modern ones, have fail-safe devices everywhere that make accidental fires a thing of the past.

An Insured decided that the only possible means of escaping his mortgage was to burn down his house. Being a rather imaginative fellow, he decided to also make the fire look like an accident.

On leaving his house in the afternoon, he opened the gas jets on the stove, blew out the pilot on his gas dryer and water heater, and set the thermostat on his electronically ignited furnace to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It was a hot Summer day, but he assumed it would eventually cool off a little, the thermostat would kick on the furnace, and the electronic starter would ignite the entire house.

The Insured learned a lesson from the arson investigator. The house burned down almost totally two days later.

The claim to the insurer included, among many other things, one encyclopedia Britannica and a wooden duck decoy. These inconsequential items, making up part of a claim for more than $100,000.00 in personal property, led to the Insured’s arrest when they were found, intact and undamaged in his temporary residence.

 

Most people do not understand how hard it is to set fire to a house that destroys the entire dwelling and its contents. Most residences simply do not have sufficient combustibles in the right place to allow for a sustained fire. Many homes, especially the more modern ones, have fail-safe devices everywhere that make accidental fires a thing of the past.

An Insured decided that the only possible means of escaping his mortgage was to burn down his house. Being a rather imaginative fellow, he decided to also make the fire look like an accident.

On leaving his house in the afternoon, he opened the gas jets on the stove, blew out the pilot on his gas dryer and water heater, and set the thermostat on his electronically ignited furnace to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It was a hot Summer day, but he assumed it would eventually cool off a little, the thermostat would kick on the furnace, and the electronic starter would ignite the entire house.

The Insured learned a lesson from the arson investigator. The house burned down almost totally two days later.

The claim to the insurer included, among many other things, one encyclopedia Britannica and a wooden duck decoy. These inconsequential items, making up part of a claim for more than $100,000.00 in personal property, led to the Insured’s arrest when they were found, intact and undamaged in his temporary residence.

About Barry Zalma

An insurance coverage and claims handling author, consultant and expert witness with more than 48 years of practical and court room experience.
This entry was posted in Zalma on Insurance. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.