A. J. Leng & Co Ltd


Fire & Forensic Investigation

6.30 appears to be the commonest time for a fire

Before Excavation

After Excavation

Smoke staining on the wall is an indication of the use of a fire accelerent

With experience the event log can often be recovered

Pool burns


A J Leng & Co are specialists in the investigation of incidents for insurance companies and their representatives. While the majority of our work involves the investigation of building fires, we also undertake investigations of deflagrations, intruder alarm systems, forced entries, water damage and mechanical failures.

Nature of our work

The core of any successful investigation is the information which is gathered during the examination of the scene. The investigator must be able to record the scene in photographs and plans. He should also be able to interpret the damage present at the scene such as pool burns, smoke staining and the remains of smouldering fires. Experience is an advantage at all fire scenes but particularly so when dealing with fires in industry as many industries possess specific fire hazards which are rarely found elsewhere.

Finding and interviewing witnesses in order to gain information upon the incident, or the events which preceded the incident, is an integral part of the investigative process. The interviewer must put the witness at ease and allow them to tell their story. The interviewer must also ensure that the right questions are asked and the answers recorded. Very few investigations can be successfully completed without some input from eyewitnesses.

Gathering data, be it from CCTV systems, intruder alarm memories , plant production logs or radiographs, is an increasingly important aspect of any investigation. Liaison with the Fire Service, Police and other investigators will often reveal information that is of great benefit to the investigation.

Once the available evidence has been gathered it must be communicated to the client in a clear and concise manner. During the initial stages of an investigation the client will receive verbal reports but these are normally supplemented with a written report within a few days of instruction. The initial report always incorporates photographs and will often contain diagrams to illustrate the significant aspects of the investigation. If the investigation proceeds beyond an initial assessment further reports are issued culminating in a full report suitable for use in litigation.

Curriculum Vitae

After obtaining a degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Liverpool in 1980, Andrew Leng joined the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. Andrew worked in both the Metal Mechanics and Tribology divisions of the National Mechanical Engineering Research Institute. In 1988 he returned to the UK and, after a brief period with an oil company, joined R B Hawkins & Associates in 1989.

Andrew spent ten very enjoyable years at the northern office of R B Hawkins & Associates where he was a member of the team providing a fire investigation service to insurers, their representatives, private companies and occasionally individuals.

In 1999 Andrew left R B Hawkins & Associates to form A J Leng & Co Ltd. The remit of the company is to provide a rapid, cost effective and consistent fire investigation service for the insurance industry. In the past 25 years Andrew has investigated approximately 1400 incidents.


We operate a simple fee structure with a single hourly rate for professional services. We recognise that travel to and from the fire scene should not attract the same hourly rate. Travel is currently charged at 50% of the professional rate plus costs/mileage.

In addition to our standard service we also offer a fixed price fire investigation which is applicable to small losses where the uncertain costs of a full investigation may be difficult to justify. The cost of a fixed price investigation is linked to the geographical location of the loss. Fixed price investigations are only suitable for relatively straigtforward incidents. Further details are obtainable on request.

Contact Us

A J Leng & Co Ltd
70 Newtons Crescent
Winterley, Sandbach
Cheshire, CW11 4TS

Telephone: 01270 253434 (24 hours)
Mobile 07774 701245

Email: andrew@ajleng.co.uk

Careless use of a blowlamp elsewhere in the property

Was this door forced before the fire?

The glass was broken before the fire

To assist the spread of the fire petrol containers have been secured to the rafters

A typical sketchplan

X-rays can be used to reveal hidden evidence