Thursday, September 21, 2017 | The online resource for training fire investigators

CFITrainer.Net Podcast

The IAAI and CFITrainer.Net present these podcasts with a focus on issues relating to fire investigation. With expertise from around the world, the International Association of Arson Investigators produces these podcasts to bring more information and electronic media to fire investigators looking for training, education and general information about fire investigation. Topics include recent technologies, issues in the news, training opportunities, changes in laws and standards and any other topic that might be of interest to a fire investigator or industry professional affected by fire. Information is presented using a combination of original stories and interviews with scientists, leaders in fire investigation from the fire service and the law enforcement community.

Discussion with Writer Monica Hesse

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Transcript

ROD AMMON: Hello and welcome to this podcast at the beginning of September 2017. For the International Association of Arson Investigators and CFITrainer.Net, I’m Rod Ammon. Some really good news I think I’ll start off the podcast with today. We just found out that the International Association of Arson Investigators was awarded a new AFG grant, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program from FEMA, which is the grants that we are funded by at CFITrainer.net that’s the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants, again, from AFG with FEMA, so thanks big time to the folks who spent the time reading the grants and scoring them and making a decision to once again fund CFITrainer for the International Association of Arson Investigators and for all of you. And another important group of folks to be thankful for are the ones who donate their time, and this is a very, very important thing I think that is often forgotten, the experts that are around the International Association of Arson Investigators, all of the different people that are tied to the network who act as content experts, subject matter experts for the modules that we do.

Well, with that, today we’ve got a special guest. About a couple weeks ago, I got a phone call or a text – I forget what it was – from John Jones who was the gentleman who was our original boss, project manager for the International Association of Arson Investigators when CFITrainer.net started, and he had a whole lot to do with making it the way that it is, so thanks to John for that. But when he reached out to me, he told me about a book called “American Fire” and I went over, read it on the iPad, and it was awesome and made a couple of – sent out a couple of emails and was lucky enough to get somebody to join us today, Monica Hesse, who is the writer of “American Fire”. It’s an awesome read and very relevant to all of you who listen to CFITrainer.Net, to our podcast. So with us today, Monica Hesse, thanks for being here.

MONICA HESSE: Oh thank you so much for having me.

ROD AMMON: It’s awesome that you’re here and I really enjoyed the book. So tell us a little bit about your background.

MONICA HESSE: So my day job, I’m a journalist for the Washington Post. I’m actually sitting in a conference room here at the Post talking to you today, and I’ve been there for about 10 years. And in my off time, I also write books. I’ve written three novels, and this book that I’m here to talk with you about today, which came from a Washington Post story about a series of arsons in rural Virginia.

ROD AMMON: Well, we appreciate the time that you’re getting to spend with us today. So how did you make the decision to dig into this book?

MONICA HESSE: So when you’re a feature writer like I am, your life is like a series of panic and then excitement, and the panic comes when you finish a story and you don’t know what’s coming next. It’s the worst place a journalist can be, but a couple of years ago, I was sent down to cover this really strange trial, and what had happened is that in a rural county in Virginia over the course of five months, 86 buildings were burned down by arson, and when they caught the culprit, it was a man and a woman. They were doing it together. So I just kind of became enamored with this story and went down to cover it for the Post and thought it would take a couple of days and then just couldn’t drop it. Three years later, it’s a book.

ROD AMMON: It’s an awesome book. You painted an incredible picture of the area, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about the area and what it was like.

MONICA HESSE: So for the people – for the listeners who are not familiar with Accomack County, it’s a county on the eastern shore in Virginia, which means it’s not connected to the mainland at all. It’s the tip of a peninsula that’s tacked on to the bottom of Maryland, so it’s pretty isolated from the rest of the state. It’s really rural. It’s the kind of town where you can drive for 40 miles and go through only one stoplight. It’s dark. There are gravel roads, and in the daytime, it’s beautiful, but in the night, it is really desolate for lack of a better term. It’s really dark and kind of scary. And the history of this town is that Accomack County 100 years ago was the richest rural county in all of America, and then over the course of the past 100 years, the county has changed as American fortunes have changed, as farming has become less localized and shifted, as railroads have disappeared. And so what you are left with is this beautiful, isolated peninsula that used to be really wealthy but is now emptied of people and has hundreds and hundreds of abandoned buildings, which in 2012 started burning down.

ROD AMMON: I’ve talked to a lot of different folks that get involved in fire investigation, and I’m one of them, too, that was fascinated when I started to learn about this field. Tell us about the learning process and what your favorite part about the research was.

MONICA HESSE: So what I found really interesting, and to fire investigators listening, they’ll think that this is so dumb, but it’s something that average people just don’t think about very much, which is how difficult it is to investigate an arson because the nature of a crime like a murder is that there are – there’s blood spatter. There might be bullet casings. There might be fingerprints. And the nature of an investigation of a fire is that so much of the evidence burns away, so I gained such a deep appreciation for things like foot pattern analysis or V patterns or things like that that I think that non-investigators just never think about.

I spent several days with a man named Bobby Bailey who is an investigator at the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy, and I thought that I would interview him for an hour, and then six hours later, he’s taking me into the burn trailer and he’s explaining how wood siding burns differently than aluminum siding. And he’s explaining how you have to pay attention to the wind direction and how, if there were windows open and how high the soot level is. And so getting to follow along with him and getting in to sit in on some classes that he was teaching to inspire – to aspiring investigators was completely fascinating. I was ready to be enrolled in the class by the end of my days with him.

ROD AMMON: It’s great when you get somebody like that who’s as passionate about teaching as they are in their job. And were there other folks – I hadn’t talked to you about this, but there were some other folks probably that you worked with in the fire industry or fire investigation industry.

MONICA HESSE: Yeah, I interviewed the two main investigators who were working on these fires, and they were both based in Accomack County, a man named Rob Barnes and a man named Glenn Neal, and then I also spent a lot of time with the firemen who were being called out every night, sometimes two or three times a night, to put out the fires. And of course, that was a really interesting dynamic because you have the firemen whose job is to get the fires out as quickly as possible, and that’s what they’re trained to do. They want to get up and get out the fires. And then you have the investigators who are trying to think about preserving evidence and what needs to be kept intact and not wanting a bunch of firemen to come and tramp all over a crime scene. So that was really interesting to learn about the dynamics between those groups of people and how they were having to work together because obviously investigating a fire when it’s the scene of an arson is different than when someone’s house is burning down because they accidentally tipped over a candle.

ROD AMMON: You mentioned in the book Matt and the camera.

MONICA HESSE: Yeah.

ROD AMMON: Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

MONICA HESSE: Yeah, so one of my favorite characters is this man named Matt Hart who is a – he works in real estate down in Accomack, and he’s just super involved in the community. He – since I – the book has come out, he’s become a city councilman. He really – he volunteers a lot. He wants to do well, so he and some buddies started up this group that they called the Eastern Shore Arson Hunters, and they thought they were going to catch the arsonists. And one of my favorite stories that he told me is that he and these friends got the idea that they were going to put up a camera at an abandoned house that one of them knew the owner of. They were going to put up this camera and see if they could catch the arsonist if he came to target the house, but once they got there, they put up their camera. They turned around, and they realized that there was already a camera there, that this camera had been put up by law enforcement having the same idea that they did, and now the police camera – what they had caught was Matt and all of his friends tramping around the woods, looking like arsonists. So I kind of – I loved that story because it just kind of shows the level of desperation and panic that the citizens were reaching and how they’re trying to be helpful, and instead they just end up looking like crazy arsonists tramping around the woods.

ROD AMMON: I hope I didn’t do too much of a spoiler. The book is full of those kinds of details, and I just loved it. I appreciate you sharing it. So you talked about geographic profiling. What did you learn about?

MONICA HESSE: You know, so what I learned is that I was kind of familiar with geographic profiling in a way I hadn’t realized. I had – like a lot of folks, I’ve seen shows like CSI or like Numbers, but you never know how much of that is real and how much of that is just TV magic that probably drives real investigators crazy because it doesn’t work like that in the real world and it can’t work like that in the real world. But I talked to a geographic profiler, Isaac Van Patten, who explained that no, actually, some of the techniques that I found most interesting are real and can be really used. So because this was an incident where there were so many, many fires, it was an area that’s rich for geographic profiling, which for lay people who might be listening and not know about this, if you have a bunch of crimes that have been committed and you can plot them out on a map, you can use a geographic algorithm to come up – or a mathematical algorithm to come up with a way to figure out where the criminal might live or where he might work. But basically the theory is that people have patterns even if they’re not aware of them, and an arsonist who believes that he is setting buildings on fire at random or a burglar who believes that he is burgling houses at random isn’t really doing things in a random way. They’re doing things in a way that can trace back to where they live, so learning about that was fascinating because, as I said, when I would hear about something like that happening on a show like Numbers, I would think, oh, this is just good TV writing, but it just goes to show you that you can’t make up more interesting things than are actually happening in investigations.

ROD AMMON: So I was thinking about, after we spoke the first time, about your exposure to the court system, and there are a lot of folks in the fire investigation field that may never even get into court. So I thought it might be interesting for you to talk about what you learned in the court system as you watched this case go on.

MONICA HESSE: You know what was really fascinating to me, by the time the trials happened, I had been following this story so closely for a long time that there wasn’t a lot that happened in the courtroom that was surprising, but what was surprising is how much – how little information the jurors had. Like when I was thinking about if I was a juror, just listening to the information that was presented, how would I vote? What would I think was happening? And it would have been a real struggle, which just goes to show if you are an investigator who’s been asked to testify or a witness who’s been asked to testify, the entire breadth of your knowledge will barely be touched on. You’ll have to consolidate months’ worth of what you know about a case or about a person into a 45-minute testimony, which just, knowing as much as I did about the case by the end, seemed crazy and gave me such an appreciation for the people who have to do it.

ROD AMMON: It’s a – there’s a lot of learning that investigators and lawyers and everybody in this industry does to make testimony effective, so I’m sure they’ll appreciate your insight coming in from the angle that you did. You have a real hopeful message about rural America, and I share it and I liked what you wrote. Could you talk about your insight there?

MONICA HESSE: Yeah, so we talk a lot about rural America these days and sort of what’s happening in rural places and if rural places are being left behind in the modern world, and I think we tend to look at places like Accomack in one of two ways. We either sort of glorify them, like that’s the only real America that’s left, or we denigrate them and sort of assume that everyone there rides a tractor to school, which honestly where I’m from, a few people did ride tractors to school. But what I ended up finding in Accomack was just such a strong sense of community, and this was a terrible series of events to happen in the town, but it brought out the best in almost everyone, which you got to see because the firemen would – the firemen never had to pay for their dinners because if people saw the firemen out eating, they would offer to pick up the check, or people would bring over casseroles or brownies or Rice Krispie treats to the fire houses.

And you saw that happening in the sheriff’s office, too. You saw neighbors volunteering to watch each other’s houses or really pulling together. So in that way, it was a real testament to the intimacy and the neighborliness that exists in a small rural place like that, and I was – I felt really lucky to get to watch that and get to try to write about it.

ROD AMMON: It’s a beautiful thing to see that happen, and it’s great to hear you talk about it. It sounded to me like you were very, very well accepted by the fire – people in the fire service and law enforcement and I’m guessing – I think you talked about some federal agents as well that you had worked with. You want to tell us a little bit about your experience with them and something you learned?

MONICA HESSE: Yeah, I mean so by the time I started writing this story, a lot of people in Accomack were really wary of me coming in. The fires had happened more than a year ago at that point, and they were exhausted. They were exhausted of reporters coming in and talking about it. They didn’t know me. They were worried that this was going to make their town look bad, and I don’t blame them at all for that, and it would have been completely within their rights to just say who are you to be trying to tell this story? Leave us alone. And instead what happened is they were so – they became so welcoming to me.

The fire department that I was spending time with let me sleep overnight in the fire house and gave me a pager so that I could hear when they were going out on calls. People invited me to potlucks, to sit with them at football games, to go to church with them, and anything that I got right in this book is because the people of Accomack knew that I couldn’t tell their story without them and without them opening their homes and their notebooks and going back over old diary entries or old Facebook posts. I wouldn’t have been able to do it, so it really was their story that I was lucky enough to get to write.

ROD AMMON: Well, I can imagine them having a lot of respect for you. After just the couple times that we’ve spoken, I find your desire to do the job the way you do just – I don’t want to say refreshing. It’s beautiful. You’ve got a real passion.

MONICA HESSE: Oh that means a lot, thank you.

ROD AMMON: And it comes through in your writing. I just – there are things that I read and I go, that’s a nice story, and then there are things that I read where I feel like, wow, this person loved this, and that came through in your writing.

MONICA HESSE: Well, it’s an incredible place. It’s an incredible town full of people, and in my job, usually I’m lucky enough to get to realize that almost every place has something incredible about it if you would just spend enough time, but this place was really – I was really glad to get to know the folks there.

ROD AMMON: You went back, didn’t you?

MONICA HESSE: I did. I have been back – so while I was working on the book, I rented a house down there so that I could be down there for an extended period of time, and then I would drive back for shorter trips, three or four days or an afternoon to do an interview. Just a couple of weeks ago, I went on a vacation and was trying to figure out where to go, and I found myself back on the eastern shore again, going to some other coastal towns and spending time and hanging out because it’s – like I said, it really is just a lovely place.

ROD AMMON: I thought that was really cool. I just wanted to bring it up again and remind the people out there how welcome you made – how welcome they made you feel. So before we wrap up, I was wondering if there’s anything that you would like to share, as a journalist and as a writer, with the fire investigation community.

MONICA HESSE: Gosh, I mean the biggest thing that I’d like to share with the fire investigation community is that journalists are aware that with every story we do, we’re often starting cold and we’re trying to tell the story of people who know a lot more than us about the topics that we’re writing about. So some of my favorite emails that I’ve gotten since writing this book have been from fire investigators and arson investigators who have given me feedback and who have said I really liked that you brought up this or it reminded me of this other case. Maybe you should look at this other case.

And so them being willing to kind of help me see what I got right, what I could have done better and help me keep learning, those – I love those emails. I forward them to my editor and my agent, and we all read them and talk about them, so I guess just the message to the fire investigators, if you do read this book, journalists love to hear from subjects in general, and I’d love to hear from you in particular. My email address is on my website, which is monicahesse.com, and look me up and I’d love to have a conversation with you about your work and what you do.

ROD AMMON: We’re very grateful time. It’s a beautiful book, and again, the book is “American Fire” and we’ve been speaking to Monica Hesse. Thanks again for your time, Monica.

MONICA HESSE: Thank you so much.

ROD AMMON: And that wraps up this podcast for the month of September this year of 2017. Our thoughts go out to all of those dealing with the floods and the fires across our country, both the responders and the public that are dealing with incredibly trying times. For the International Association of Arson Investigators and CFITrainer.Net, I’m Rod Ammon. Be well.

Other Episodes

2017

Discussion with Criminalist- John DeHaan - June '17 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month on the CFITrainer.Net podcast, we talk to Criminalist, fire investigation expert and Author of "Kirk’s Fire Investigation", John DeHaan.
The Ghost Ship - May '17 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. For this podcast, we hear from a retired Captain of the Long Beach Fire Department, Pat Wills. Pat has been in the fire service for 37 years. He has been a leader and an investigator, now he is an educator speaking around the country about the importance of code enforcement.
Fast Podcast about ITC! - March '17 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk to David Bridges about what to expect at ITC and the training you won’t want to miss.
CFITrainer Podcast- A profile with an IAAI-CFI® - February '17 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. Join us this month for our podcast as we interview IAAI member and CFI, Jeff Spaulding from Middletown, Ohio. Jeff talks about his work in both the public and private sector and then he shares an interesting story about how a pacemaker is helping in an investigation.

2016

An interview with Dr. James Quintiere - December '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In a discussion with Dr. James Quintiere, we learn about some of his work in fire sciences, a bit about his research, his opinions related to the World Trade Center investigation and what he thinks is important to fire investigation as a scholarly leader in our field.
Fire Investigation After the Flood Podcast - November '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk to Dan Hebert, an IAAI, CFI about "How Floods affect Fire Investigation."
September 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk about the recent changes in the FAA's regulations for commercial and public sector use of UAS or "Drones".
August 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk to Jessica Gotthold about the Seaside Heights fire in NJ from 2013
July 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk to Fire Marshall, Ken Helms of the Enid, OK. Fire Department about his team winning the Fire Investigator of the Year award.
March 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's fire investigation podcast from the IAAI's CFITrainer.Net focuses on the Youth Firesetting Information Repository and Evaluation System, which is called YFIRES for short.
February 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's fire investigation podcast from the IAAI's CFITrainer.Net focuses on what you need to do to ensure the integrity of samples sent to the lab. A conversation with Laurel Mason of Analytical Forensic Associates.

2015

September 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. Our podcast related to the legalization of recreational marijuana and its effect on fire investigation was one of the most popular podcasts ever on CFITrainer.Net. This month’s podcast is a follow up with one of our listeners from California who is an investigator doing training on this very topic.
August 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast is about NFIRS where we interview the Executive Director of The National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation, Jim Narva.
July 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this special edition of podcast we’re going to meet the newest IAAI Investigator of the Year, Andrea Buchanan.
May 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Jason McPherson from MSD Engineering to talk about some of these new technology tools.
April 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Dave Perry, a lawyer in Colorado discussing what fire chiefs, fire investigators, and the legal system are seeing in a state with legalized cannabis in regard to fire cause involving marijuana.
February 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Feb '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Mike Schlatman and Steve Carman who are both successful fire investigators and now business owners who have transitioned from the public to the private sector.

2014

December 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews Steve Avato from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explaining the process of elimination and how it is a critical part of the scientific method.
June 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews the 2014 Investigator of the Year.
April 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews with Don Robinson, Special Agent in Charge with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Currently stationed at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research, located at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
January 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast takes a look inside the process of revising NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033.

2013

October 2013 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '13 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast focuses on the fire research work of Underwriters’ Laboratories, better known as UL.
February 2013 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '13 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we have an interview with George Codding who returned from a recent trip to Saipan and gives us a closer look at the international activities of the International Association of Arson Investigators

2012

Mid Year 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Mid Year '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast features a mid-year update on the IAAI’s new initiatives and ways for you to get more involved with the organization.
September 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an in-depth look at the recent live-burn fire experiments exercise conducted on Governor’s Island, New York by the New York City Fire Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratory, and the Trust for Governor’s Island.
August 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This is a special edition of the CFITrainer.Net podcast previewing the ITC 2013. There’s a new name for the Annual Training Conference from the IAAI now called the International Training conference.
April 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Chief Ernest Mitchell, Jr., the US Fire Administrator. Also we will discuss the upcoming ATC, Annual Training Conference, from the IAAI about to happen in Dover, Delaware.
March 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with ATF Special Agent Billy Malagassi out of the Tulsa, OK Field Office about investigating fires in clandestine drug labs. We also report on NIST’s findings in the Charleston Sofa Super Store fire and IAAI’s Evidence Collection Practicum.

2011

December 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features one of the presenters from this year’s IAAI ATC and see how a single photo broke the Provo Tabernacle fire case.
October 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Deborah Nietch, the new Executive Director of IAAI.
July 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Tom Fee discussing details of investigating wildland fires.
June 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features a lot of exciting things that are happening at CFITrainer.Net
May 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month highlights the IAAI ATC in Las Vegas and the third installment in the "It Could Happen to You" series.
ATC 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - This podcast discusses the upcoming IAAI Annual Training Conference and National Arson Awareness Week.
April 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast announces the release of the program, The First Responder’s Role in Fire Investigation, which teaches first responders how to make critical observations and take important scene preservation actions at a fire scene.
March 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features some of the instructors from the upcoming 2011 Annual Training Conference, to provide a preview of the courses they will be presenting.
February 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features an update on fire grants and an interview with Steve Austin
January 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the release of the new edition of Fire Investigator: Principles and Practice to NFPA 921 and 1033, new flammability requirements from UL for pre-lit artificial Christmas trees and a growing fire problem in Dubai with factories turned into worker dormitories.

2010

December 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on home candle fires, lightning punctures in gas piping, and respiratory diseases in the fire services.
November 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - November '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features research findings for structural stability in engineered lumber by UL, the ban on antifreeze in residential sprinkler systems, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s investigation of Jeep Grand Cherokee fuel tanks.
October 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features high-profile fire cases, why people leave stovetop cooking unattended and how new sensors under development may improve fire research.
September 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features how to use the ATF’s Bomb Arson Tracking System, IAAI Foundation grants, electrical fires and indoor marijuana cultivation.
August 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on social media as a fire investigation tool, a potential problem with modular home glued ceilings and research from Underwriters Laboratories on the effects of ventilation on structure fires.
July 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast is a roundtable on some of the latest research and technical activities that impact fire investigation, featuring Daniel Madrzykowski (moderator), Steven Kerber, and Dr. Fred Mowrer.
June 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast discusses career advancement, budget cuts and their impact on fire investigation, and the 2010-2016 ATF Strategic Plan.
ATC 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Follow-up and Interviews from Orlando. Learn about the conference, hear what attendees had to say.
May 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. The second in our safety series called "It Could Happen To You." Our Long-Term Exposure roundtable is moderated by Robert Schaal.
April 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. The first of our two-part safety series called "It Could Happen To You." Our roundtable is moderated by Robert Schaal.
March 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features a conversation about legislative affairs affecting the fire service with Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Research Institute.
February 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features our interview with a commercial kitchen’s fire expert about what you need to know when you work a commercial kitchen fire.
January 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features a look at preliminary research on corrosion caused by Chinese drywall, a new database focused on fires in historic buildings, a warning on blown-in insulation, and the launch of the new firearson.com web site.

2009

December 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features cooking fires, highlights of the International Code Council’s Annual Meeting on code requirements, including requiring residential sprinkler systems, and an easy way to keep up with recalls from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
November 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - November '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features chimney fires, including recent news on surgical flash fires, a proposed national arsonist registry, lightning research and an innovation in personal protective equipment.
October 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast is devoted to Fire Prevention Week.
September 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the relationship between climate conditions and fire risk, new research on formulating fireproof walls and the latest in IAAI news.
August 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month takes a look at the dangerous combination of summer heat and oily rags, the rise in vacant home fires, and preview research underway on Australia’s devastating "Black Saturday" brush fires.
July 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month features a look at outdoor grill fires, a fatal fire at a homeless camp in Southern NJ, new NIST research on human behavior during building fires, and IAAI news.
June 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features live reports from the 2009 IAAI Annual Training Conference held in May.
May 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast is dedicated to National Arson Awareness Week.
April 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the NFPA 921 chapter on marine fire investigations and the myth and reality of static electricity as a source of ignition.
March 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month focuses on the rise of the hybrid vehicle and what its unique engineering means for the investigation of vehicle fires, the rash of devastating arson fires in Coatesville, Pennsylvania from December 2008 to February 2009, and news from IAAI.
January 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on the deepening financial crisis in the US and arson for profit fires, how going green may pose a fire hazard and see how rope lighting may be a source of ignition, and IAAI’s Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony course.

2008

December 2008 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '08 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features Christmas tree fires, changes to critical fire investigation publications, the weak economy’s impact on home fires, wind’s effect on structure fires, and ATC 2009.
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