The first significant negative corpus decision since the 2011 changes to NFPA 921: A lot to unpack in this opinion, but three definite takeaways. First, the opinion is a guide to carriers—and to a lesser extent, investigators—about how to put together an arson defense where no direct evidence of arson exists. Second, courts still care more about precedent than the machinations of the NFPA 921 committee, which are relegated to a footnote in this opinion. And third, at least in the legal realm, the elimination of all accidental causes within a defined origin area may not be enough by itself to establish that a fire was deliberately set, it does support an inference that it was.
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