Expert Details

Expert in Fires & Explosions, Auto Fires, House Fires, Heavy Equipment Fires, Appliance Fires, Semi Tractor & Trailers, Marine Fires, Fires All Types

Expert ID: 725806 Virginia, USA

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A second-generation fire investigator with over 31 years of experience in fire investigation for the insurance industry, Expert trained primarily under the direction of a former Tennessee State Fire Marshal/Certified Fire Investigator. Registered nationally as a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator (C.F.E.I.) through the National Association of Fire Investigation (N.A.F.I.) as well as a Certified Fire Investigator Instructor (C.F.I.I.) and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (C.V.F.I.) through N.A.F.I.

Expert is also a Certified Fire Investigator (C.F.I.) and (CFI-V) through the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). Is registered multiple times with the National Board for Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard) as a Certified Fire Investigator and is a graduate of both the National Fire Academy and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs Fire Marshal Academy. He is also a Certified ASE technician in reference to automobiles and light trucks. He has testified as an expert witness in both state and federal criminal and civil courts in various states. Expert has 21 years as a self-employed fire investigator trading with a fire analysis consulting group in the State of Virginia.

He has conducted/investigated approximately 4200 fire scenes throughout his 31-year career as a fire investigator with approximately 1500 of those fires involving vehicles and heavy equipment. He has extensive training and experience with vehicle fires to complex and large loss examinations that have included Commercial, Industrial and Residential fire losses including auto, heavy equipment, live oil well fires, CSST/gas line fires, restaurant fires, suppression hoods and systems, stoves and appliances, water heaters and furnaces, gas fires, electrical fires, fireplace fires, product liability fires, explosions, heating fires, arson fires, subrogation related fires and accidental fires.

Served as an Evidence Technician for SEA out of Tampa office and as an Evidence Technician 2 years and a Certified Fire Investigator for Southern Fire Analysis for 29 years and has been a Private Investigator in the State of Virginia since 1998. Personally, investigated thousands of fires throughout the States of Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware, New York, Maine, Vermont, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, California. Wyoming, Kansas, Florida, and Colorado ranging from vehicle fires to complex and large loss examinations that have included Commercial, Industrial and Residential fire losses of all sizes and types including auto, heavy equipment, semi-trucks and trailers, boats and personal watercraft, live oil well fires, CSST/gas line fires, restaurant fires, suppression hoods and systems, stoves and appliances, water heaters and furnaces, gas fires, electrical fires, fireplace fires, product liability fires, explosions, heating fires, arson fires, subrogation related fires and accidental fires. Has investigated approximately 4200 fire scenes to date and of those approximately 1700 have involved vehicles, heavy equipment, etc.

CFI/CFEI/CFII/CVFI

1997 - Successful defense and recovery on 540,000 home owners claim against a major insurance company which showed instead of the fire being Arson the actual cause of the fire was accidental caused by a bagel left unattended in the toaster.

2006 – Recovered $145,000 from Volvo Motors for a vehicle fire that caused damage to a garage. This case was settled after an initial demand of $165,000 was made. After Volvo’s representatives reviewed only the report generated by F.A.C.G., Volvo agreed to pay $145,000 on the strength of the report alone.

2008 –Successful recovery for Amica Insurance of claim against an RV manufacture for design defect. Manufacture settled claim on report alone from FACG without proceeding to trial.

2009 – Responsible for recall on behalf of Hopewell, Virginia Public School system through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of over 4,500 Vision Blue Bird school buses for risk of fire from throughout Virginia and across the United States

2011 – Successfully defended our client in the largest payout for a single vehicle fire not involving an accident with burn injuries in U.S. history. A jury returned a “not guilty” verdict for our client after only one hour of deliberation, saving our client $20 million dollars as well as a recovery of $1.3 million dollars in attorney fees.

2011 – Investigated car fire case with new VW Passat. After the joint examination with VW and review of our evidence presented, VW agreed to take full responsibility for the fire, paid the claim and took possession of the vehicle for transport back to their factory.

2012 –Successful recovery of $22,000 for Selective Insurance and recovered $22,000 for fire damage to a rescue squad.

2013 –Successful recovery of $250,000 for Countryway Insurance from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mack and contractor for damage caused to a single-family dwelling due to foreclosure repairs.

2015 – Selective Insurance Company – settled in favor of the insurance company.

2015 – FCCI Insurance Group vs. Auto Owners – fire involving ten vehicles located at an auto auction in Richmond Va. Fire damage to all ten vehicles was extensive. However, due to FACG’s tireless investigation the fire was narrowed down to the subject vehicle, 2003 Jaguar, that had experienced an electrical fault in the power supply wire for the battery located in the trunk. Subrogation was obtained through the strength of FACG’s investigation without the need of deposition or court.

2017 – Successful recovery on 2010 Subaru Forrester for an electrical fire in dash attributed to the manufacturing defect settled in our clients favor on strength of report alone.

**Many more consulting examples are available upon request.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1998 Degree: WPHD Subject: Fire & Explosion Investigation Institution: National Fire Academy
Year: 2000 Degree: License 11-034 Subject: Fire Investigation CFI IAAI Institution: International Association of Arson Investigators
Year: 1989 Degree: License 3057-0208iv Subject: Fire & Explosion investigation NAFI CFEI Institution: National Association of Fire Investigators

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1997 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Head Fire Investigator Department: Responsibilities: He is the Chief Fire & Explosion Investigator since 1997 and is in charge of all investigators in an area the size of the east coast.
Years: 1987 to 1997 Employer: Southern Fire Analysis Title: Certified Fire Investigator Department: Responsibilities: Determine Cause and Origin of scenes, collect evidence, excavate scenes, as well as train other investigators.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Founding Member of the Tetrahedron Committee – (A Pro-bono fire review panel utilizing recognized experts from around the world to view questionable fire & Arson claims/convictions)
Member of International Association of Marine Investigators
Member of International Association of Arson Investigators
Member of International Association of Arson Investigators – Tennessee Chapter
Member of International Association of Arson Investigators – Georgia
Member of International Association of Arson Investigators – Kentucky
Member of International Association of Arson Investigators – West Virginia
Member of International Association of Arson Investigators – Taiwan
Member of National Association of Fire Investigators
Member of International Fire Investigation Research Institute
Board Member of the International Fire Investigation Research Institute (IFIRI)
The National Fire Academy Alumni Association
Member of The American College of Forensic Examiners
Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson
Licenses / Certifications
Certified Fire Investigator – I.A.A.I. – License
Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator – N.A.F.I. – License
Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator – N.A.F.I.
Certified Fire Investigator Instructor – N.A.F.I.
Certified Fire Investigator – State of Virginia Department of Fire Programs – License
Certified Fire Investigator – National Board of Fire Service Pro Qualifications – Certificate
Certified Evidence Collection Technician – I.A.A.I. – Certificate
Motor Vehicle Fire Endorsement – I.A.A.I.
Certification in Burn Pattern Recognition & Identification – Public Agency Training Council
ASE Certified Auto Mechanic
Recognized by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board
Recognized & Registered II by The Pro Board
Professional Appointments
PROFESSIONAL JOURNALS & PERODICALS

2016 – Present: From the Ashes Newsletter sent to 500+ insurance professionals throughout the industry
2001 – 2004: Fire Analysis Consulting Group Company News Letter
Present: Fire Findings Fire Investigation Newsletter
Present: Drew, Eckle & Farnham Insurance Claims Law Journal
Present: I.A.A.I. Fire & Arson Investigator Magazine
Present: Virginia Department of Fire Programs Quarterly Magazine
Present: N.A.F.I. The National Fire Investigator Magazine
Present: Fire Engineering Magazine
Present: N.F.P.A. Journal
Present: S.I.U. Awareness Claims Magazine
Present: The Warren Group Investigation & Engineering Newsletter
Present: F & R Engineering Newsletter
Present: The Forensic Examiner
Present: P.I. Investigative Magazine
Present: IFIRI Fire Science Magazine
Present: NASP Magazine

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
He has experience in litigation and consulting, subrogation, depo experience in both federal and state courts as well as Arbitration.
Training / Seminars
Over 100 training courses taken. Complete list available upon request. Below is a brief example of list.

November 2018, 20-hour seminar, AL Association of Arson Investigators, Recognizing and Investigation the Natural or LP Gas Incident, Fire or Explosion Scene Processing, Procedures, & Techniques, Creating and Maintaining Investigative Notes and Sketches, Fire Scene/Crime Scene Photographs, Panel Discussion
September 2018, 20-hour seminar, ATF/Washington Field Division, Spoliation, Negative Corpus, Case Study, NFPA 1033 & 921, Fire Dynamics, and live burns.
September 2018, Eight-hour class, IAAI, NFPA 921 & 1033, Fire Dynamics, Fire Development & Decay, Ventilation, Fire Growth, and Fire Modeling
August 2018 ASE studies for ASE Certification in Automotive systems covering Brakes, Steering &Suspension Heating & Cooling, Electrical, Transmission, and Engine systems over 150 hours of training for exam.
August 2018 24-hour seminar, Tennessee Chapter I.A.A.I. – Live burns, CPSC Research, Legal Search for Investigation, Use of Damage in Fire Investigations, NFPA 921 – Chapter 18 Origin Determination
April 2018, One-hour webinar, ICAC/IAAI – Arson in Vacant/Abandoned Buildings
March 2018, 24 Hr. sem, IAMI Annual – Maritime Law, Live burns, Legal Aspect, Marine Electrical
March 2018, One-hour Webinar, NASP – Fire Dynamics for Beginners
Vendor Selection
He has a vast network of experts that work for our firm.
Other Relevant Experience
He is a Certified Fire Investigator through IAAI International Association of Arson Investigators. He is a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator with NAFI National Association of Fire Investigators. He is a Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator. He is a NAFI Certified Fire Investigator Instructor. He is a NAFI Certified Pro Board. He has qualified as a Fire Investigator. He is a Certified NFPA 921 & 1033 though the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Fields of Expertise

auto insurance, autoignition, blast, blast resistance, boiler explosion, casualty insurance, chemical plant explosion, combustion, construction insurance claim, detonation chemistry, domestic explosion standard, duct explosion, duct fire, dust explosion, electrical fire, electrical product safety, explosion, explosion chemistry, explosion effect, explosion hazard, explosion investigation, explosion measurement, explosion prevention, explosion technology, explosive chemical compound, explosive detonation, explosive device, explosive limits, explosive material, explosives ignition, fire, fire alarm, fire alarm system, fire detector, fire egress system, fire extinguisher, fire investigation, fire prevention, fire protection, fire resistance, fire risk analysis, fire-exposed steel, fire-resistant clothing, fire-resistant coating material, fire-resistant composite, fire-resistant concrete, flame detector, flame propagation, flammability, flash point, forensics, fraud, gas explosion, gas flare, grain dust explosion, ignition source, incendiary device, incendiary material, insurance, insurance claim, liability insurance, lithium battery accident investigation, low-density concrete, lower explosive limit, metal artificial aging, metal deformation, metal failure, metal fire, methane, model code, National Building Code, National Fire Code, National Fire Protection Association code, oxygen, property insurance, smoke detector, smokestack, stack fire, Standard Fire Code, steam explosion, textile fire accident investigation, titanium fire, vent fire

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