“I’m kind of desperate because my client’s desperate,” said Hall, who is representing Wickham pro bono.
The county’s three fire investigators get so many fires, they don’t do a complete report on every fire they go to, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott said, adding, “We would never leave our desk.”
“We work hard to get to everything we can and do as much as we can,” Scott said. “Every fire deserves as much attention as we can give it.”
The date of the fire did appear to be a busy day for the fire investigator on duty. The homes of two families were destroyed by fire in separate incidents in Parker County earlier that day, according to a report in the Democrat.
The Christopher Drive fire began as trash fire, Scott said, and the responding investigator found nothing incindiary in nature.
The fire didn’t appear to warrant much extra attention at that moment, Scott said.
The job of his office is to investigate the criminal aspect of fire, Scott said, noting that the investigator determined there had been no criminal activity and there was nothing suspicious about the fire.
“It was an accident,” Scott said. “We’re not going to waste a bunch of time where there’s not a need for it,” Scott said, who noted that his office also handles the county’s environmental investigations.
Hall also questioned why Scott’s office didn’t appear to use other resources in the investigation, saying he’s found that it’s typical that a fire marshal will also obtain reports, pictures and other information from any experts sent to do an investigation for the insurance company.
Though an investigator with Unified Investigations Sciences was reportedly sent to the scene by the property owner’s insurance company, the fire marshal’s office reported it did not have any information from the private investigator, either.