What Can We Tell from This Photo? (Case Study 9)

Posted by in Fire Damage, Simple Forensic Methods, Wood | August 03, 2015

What can we tell from THIS photo?


  1. The wood plates and staples indicate that these are very old field built wood trusses.
  2. The soot and char indicate that they have been exposed to a fire.
  3. The relatively clean separation between the plywood plate and the diagonal indicate that the plates loosened after the truss was no longer exposed to smoke.
  4. The checking in the soot covered area of the top chord and the plywood plate and not on the surface between the plates indicates that the surfaces of the chord and the plate were dried by the excessive heat of the fire.
  5. The abandoned nails indicate that the roof has had a complete tear off at least once.
  6. The relatively good condition (lack of checking) on the underside of the roof deck indicates that the attic has probably been reasonably well ventilated.

Do you have any other observations that we missed?

Please write to us at engineering@prugarinc.com and let us know.