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The primary result of combustion. The juridical meaning does not differ from the vernacular meaning.

It is a crime to burn certain types of property under particular circumstances, both under the Common Law and a number of state statutes. Some of these crimes are regarded as Arson, but ordinarily, arson relates specifically to buildings and their contents.

The act of willfully and maliciously setting fire to property belonging to another person—such as stacks of hay or grain, grasses, fences, or wood—is ordinarily punishable as a misdemeanor. Some jurisdictions grade the offense as a felony.

Statutes relating to fires ordinarily define the acts required for conviction. Under these statutes, willfully is defined as meaning with an evil or malicious intent or malevolent motive.

An individual who willfully or negligently sets fire to his or her own woods, prairie land, or other specified areas might be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, it is a misdemeanor to burn such areas without first giving proper notice to adjacent landowners or for an individual to allow a fire kindled on his or her wood or prairie to escape and burn adjoining property.

Some statutes relate to burning cultivated ground. Such legislation exists to prevent disastrous fires, and they do not apply to ordinary acts of agriculture that are properly conducted, such as the setting of fire to an area of land to prepare for planting.

Under some statutes that prohibit or regulate the setting of fires, a monetary penalty is imposed on people who violate their provisions. Frequently an agency—such as a state board of forest park preservation commissioners—is named specifically in the statute to bring an action to collect the penalty. Some statutes impose liability on an individual who allows fire to escape from his or her own property even though such escape is not willful, while other statutes provide that a landowner who sets a fire as a result of necessity—such as a back fire used to subdue another fire—will not be held liable. An individual is usually free from liability when he or she is lawfully burning something on his or her own farm and the fire accidentally spreads to an adjacent farm or woods.

There is civil liability for damages at common law imposed upon anyone who willfully and intentionally sets a fire. Some statutes under which criminal liability is imposed for setting certain types of fires also make express provisions that the individual whose property is damaged by the fire may initiate a civil action to recover any loss. Generally, the limit of damages is the loss actually incurred by the fire. Some statutes, however, provide for the recovery of double or treble damages.


(Burn), verb conflagrate, deflagrate, heat, ignite, incandesce, inflame, kindle, light, scorch, singe, warm
Associated concepts: Fire Act, Firefighter's Rule, Fireman's Rule


(Discharge), verb depose, dismiss, expel, lay off, remove, stimulate, terminate, torrefy


(Stimulate), verb animate, arouse, electrify, enliven, excite, foster, goad, incite, inspirit, quicken, rouse, spur, stir
See also: ardor, barrage, burn, conflagration, deflagrate, depose, discharge, dismiss, foment, life, passion, provoke, remove, spirit, stimulate, supplant
References in periodicals archive ?
DISABLED pensioner Barbara Sansom eats her meals in front of an electric fire wearing a padded jacket, a cardigan, a jumper and a woollen blanket around her legs to keep warm.
The research and development of electric fires has blossomed in the last five years and long gone is the old idea of a single hearth with a free-standing electric fire sitting on top of it against a backdrop of flowery wallpaper.
If it is purely for aesthetic reasons, an electric fire should suit and there are some great styles out there.
Locals said his heating system had stopped working so he got an electric fire to keep himself warm.
Whether you decide on an iron, wooden or marble surround or opt for a solid fuel, gas or electric fire, it will give a heart to the home.
Firefighters say the blaze started when an electric fire was accidentally switched on and set light to newspapers and magazines on an ottoman seat next to it.
There is a good-sized lounge with an electric fire and a modern newly fitted kitchen with built-in oven, hob, washing machine and tall fridge/freezer.
The property also has a lounge/diner with electric fire and French doors leading to a balcony with views of the cricket ground.
But prosecuting barrister Simon Rogers said police had found the defendant''s stash behind an electric fire and he was trying to blame a young man who Hughes had supplied with a counterfeit note.
AN electric fire is believed to have started a living room blaze in Brighouse.
Suffolk Police, who are investigating the incident jointly with the fire service, said it appeared the fire was started by an electric fire in the boy's first-floor bedroom.
Firemen said it was thought he may have inadvertently thrown clothes over an electric fire, setting them alight.