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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.

House fire particles tend to be dominated by charred wood, high hydrocarbon content soot agglomerates from burning plastics and synthetic fibers, charred paint, and soot coated glass fiber. The charred wood tends to be dominated by Douglas fir or Pine from the structural wood used in the building. Hardwoods from molding, furniture, and decorator wood is also generally present. The agglomerated soot tends to be absent in wild fires, fireplace emissions, field burning, and the backyard burning of leaf and plant trimming.

Agglomerated Soot Agglomerated Soot Agglomerated Soot High Hydrocarbon Content Soot High Hydrocarbon Content Soot High Hydrocarbon Content Soot

Large amounts of high hydrocarbon content soot are generated by burning tar roofing but some additional very characteristic particles are also generated. These are char particles with high mineral content or minerals coated with charred tar. Charred tar is highly reflective (8% to 14% as mounted).

Charred Tar Coated Mineral Charred Tar Coated Mineral Charred Tar Coated Mineral Charred Tar Charred Tar Shingle Charred Tar Shingle Charred Tar Shingle Charred Tar Shingle

Framing is most commonly a soft wood: Douglas fir, Pine, Hemlock, or Spruce.

Charred Wood Charred Wood Charred Wood Charred Wood Charred Softwood Charred Softwood

Plyboard and oriented strand board (OSB) generally contain a mixture of wood types. Douglas fir, pine, spruce, and poplar or other hardwood are often mixed in sheetstock.

Charred Plywood

Hardwoods are most often from molding, furniture, decorator paneling, and flooring.

Charred Wood Charred Hardwood Charred Hardwood Charred Hardwood Charred Hardwood Charred Painted Wood Charred Painted Wood

Burned Wire Insulation

Burned Wiring Burned Wiring Burned Wiring Burned Wiring Burned Wiring Burned Wiring Glass Fiber Blanket Insulation Exposed to House Fire Glass Fiber Blanket Insulation Exposed to House Fire Residual Foam Fire Retardant Charred Fiberglas from a Kitchen Fire Fire Extinguisher Residue from a Kitchen Fire