Stevens Point FD, Insurance Investigators Team up for Car Fire Training

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Vehicle fires account for nearly 20 percent of all reported fires in the U.S. every year, but determining what causes them is often no easy task.

That's why local firefighters and insurance adjusters teamed up Tuesday for a unique training exercise.

While all three of these car fires look the same--the causes can be different. That's what prompted the Stevens Point Fire Department and insurance adjusters from Sentry to gain real world experience on how to determine the causes of fires.

" We have adjusters that sit at desks and adjust claims. They rarely have an opportunity to view live fire demonstrations, like this. Most of what we do for their training is in classroom situations,” explains Thomas Hansen, Sentry Insurance Investigator.

While most vehicle fires are caused by engine or electrical problems, others could be intentionally set and that's when an investigator will use training, like this.

"Because there is so much damage in an automobile fire, we are showing them not how to be an investigator in an auto fire, but showing them where the fire started,” said Stevens Point Fire Chief Bob Finn of Tuesday's training.

The training centered on how to look at small details to determine if something appears suspicious.

Both firefighters and insurance crews got to see first hand how quickly a fire can destroy a vehicle, and evidence left behind by a possible suspect.
This is the first time Sentry Insurance and the Fire Department teamed up for this type of demonstration.

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