Volume 42, Issue 1 (January 1997)
Gas Residues of Engine Starting Fluid in Postmortem Sample from an Arsonist
Diethyl ether was found in samples of the blood, urine, and lung from a fire victim. Because the lung also carried a number of low-boiling paraffins, it was inferred that the detected compounds came from engine starting fluid, which the victim apparently had been exposed to while he intentionally used it as an accelerant to start the fire. The reported death illustrates the value of searching post mortem samples for highly volatile residues of possible arson accelerants.