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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 ?
As well as the coal fire she uses two electric fires to heat her home, but these can be extremely expensive to run.
Dimplex electric fires also function as heaters and can be used to heat a 400-square-foot room.
If you don't have a flue or chimney, an electric fire may be your best bet.
It seems that nothing is sacred in the fast-moving world of fireplace fashion and you can now even choose the colour of your flames on an electric fire - from red through pink to blue.
At Marshall and Pearson's store in Fort William, a robin has taken to perching on the surround of an electric fire in the stock room.
Internally the property is well-presented and briefly comprises entrance hall; lounge with electric fire within timber surround; dining room; kitchen with a range of units, electric oven with gas hob and overhead extractor fan; utility room; downstairs WC; a converted garage completes the ground-floor accommodation.
AN electric fire is believed to have started a living room blaze in Brighouse.
There is a hall with stairs, a lounge/dining room with a wall-mounted electric fire, a refitted kitchen with built-in fridge, electric oven and gas hob, and a cloakroom with toilet and wash basin.
I'M after a brass-effect vase in which to put artificial flowers to stand in front of our electric fire when it's not in use.
There is a pleasant lounge containing a feature fireplace with marble effect back panel and hearth, and electric fire.
Officers made the find after a community support officer noticed that coal from a coal-effect electric fire was oddly placed.