The fire departments of cities and counties individually maintain records of the house fires occurring within their neighborhoods. Records of houses burning down are considered public records, but no accessible public archives exist. A request for a specific fire at a specific address must be made to obtain any record of a house burning down. The fire department does not entertain requests for multiple fire records. Requests must be made individually. Submit a Fire Incident Record Request Form to obtain this information.
Obtain a Fire Incident Request Form at your city or county's website. For example, find New York City's Fire Incident Request Form at the New York Fire Department's Public Records Unit (see Resources).
Fill out the Fire Incident Request Form with your personal information and the address of where the burnt-down house once was. In New York City, an individual incident report can be requested if you provide the exact date on which the fire occurred. The Property Request portion of the form can be filled out for a list of all incidents regarding a property for a specified time period.
Complete the form with any additional information your city or county requires. Attach any required documents.
Enclose a check or money order payable to your city or county's fire department if a fee is requested. The dollar amount will vary depending on your city or county. In New York City, for example, a $1 fee is assessed for Fire Incident Reports and a $10 fee is assessed if a Property Report is requested.
Mail the Fire Incident Report Request Form along with the enclosed payment to the city or county's fire department where the burnt house was located. In New York City, for example, the form should be mailed to the Record Access Officer. The address is listed on the form.
Manny Jeter began writing in 2005. He has written for the newspaper "Daily Collegian" and the website CampusLive. Jeter completed the entrepreneurial initiative workshop and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at the University of Massachusetts.