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.

Rod Ammon: Welcome to the CFITrainer.Net podcast. Today, we're going to get into an issue that seems to be increasing in regularity, and that's warehouse fires. Just Google warehouse fire in your state or major city and you'll find plenty of examples. These new and often immense warehouses are going up every day, many are in rural and suburban communities. The complexity of investigating these fires often when you need to build a team to assist you, drove us to devote this podcast to fire investigation and warehouses, many that are beginning to use robots as a staple of operations. Just another complexity added to the mix. After this podcast, we hope you'll be better prepared to investigate these fires and build a team to assist you. As we wrap up the podcast, I'm going to let you know about a new resource that you can share with your firefighting peers that might assist them in fighting fires in sprinkler buildings.

Now let's move to the warehouse fires. Just look at what happened in the past six months, Piscataway New Jersey, March 22nd, 2022, a PepsiCo bottling plant and warehouse is heavily damaged by a fire that appears to have started outside and involved several pressurized gas tanks and stacks of wooden shipping pallets. More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze. The cause is under investigation.

In Plainfield, Indiana on March 16th, 2022, a 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center burns to the ground. 1000 employees safely evacuate. It takes 400 firefighters from 30 agencies, three days to control and fully extinguish the fire. Numerous state and local investigators and the ATF National Response Team are working to determine the origin and cause. In Lexington County, South Carolina, January 15th, 2022, a fire in the early morning hours at an Amazon distribution facility caused smoke and water damage. Disaster was averted by early activation of the automatic sprinkler system which controlled and extinguished the fire. A conveyor assembly was involved.

In Rocky Mount, North Carolina, December 18th, 2021, a massive fire destroyed the 1.5 million square foot QVC distribution center killing one employee. More than 2000 people were employed there. 284 were working there when the fire broke out. It was the largest structure fire in North Carolina history. Crews battled the fire for more than 10 days involving 74 departments across 20 counties plus state and federal agencies. The cause is under investigation by the Sheriff's office, North Carolina SBI, North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal and the ATF. QVC will not rebuild this facility.

These are only a few of the dozens and dozens of warehouse fires that have occurred across the United States. And remember, this is only in the past six months. These fires are typically thought of as low probability, and too often that is equated to low priority for prevention measures like pre-incident planning.

Today, we're going to look at the aspects of investigating these fires including common fire causes, how to be better prepared for this type of incident scene and lessons learned for how to improve response to warehouse properties. With us to talk about this is Andrew Bennett, the Assistant Technical Director for Fire & Explosion at Envista Forensics. Mr. Bennett is a IAAI-CFI and holds several other certifications. He has more than 20 years of experience conducting over 1600 fire and explosion investigations globally in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Bennett's experience encompasses large and complex loss management and investigations, including warehousing facilities, explosions involving natural gas and propane, chemical manufacturing and storage plants, marijuana grow facilities, multi residential complexes, furniture manufacturing plants, large retail centers and multiple fatality incidents. That's quite a resume. Mr. Bennett, welcome to the podcast.

Andrew Bennett: Thank you very much. I appreciate.

Rod Ammon: I'm going to jump right in on, first, how big a problem are warehouse fires? We always hear their low probability events, but with several pretty high profile incidents recently, maybe they're a little bit more common than we think?

Andrew Bennett: They are. They're a lot more common. I mean, normally what we see on the news or maybe even through email alerts, those are the big fires. Those are the multi alarm fires, but every day there's even small fires that occur inside of warehouses and this type of facilities that either are quickly put out or just don't make the news, but it's a very, very common problem.

Rod Ammon: So what's the risk here?

Andrew Bennett: It varies there. You have to think about these warehouses, the location, they might be a distribution center. And as far as being a distribution center, the type of hazards that could be in it. I mean, one of the biggest recent ones had to do with the Walmart distribution fire in Indiana. And you think about what was inside that facility, everything. I mean, you name it from hair dryers to plastic tubs to batteries, and you have to look at the storage classifications, what was stored in there, how they were stored, and also how the fire suppression systems are equipped. There's a whole gamut of things that run together whenever you look at these warehouses. I mean, in Los Angeles alone, you can have everything from, like I said, batteries and couches to textiles and bolt fabrics within the facility itself, along with hazardous materials.

Rod Ammon: So a lot of variabilities going into one of these investigations? Can you tell me, when you've been involved in these investigations, what was the organizational framework for these large warehouse investigations?

Andrew Bennett: Generally, if you're the investigator for the property, if you are the public investigator for that jurisdiction, the first thing you want to do is speak with the people that were on site, the workers or the property owners, to find out what was inside, also how the fire suppression system was set up if it activated. And progressed from there into, do we need to notify any specific parties that might be involved that are not present as part of the investigation? On the public investigator side, do we need to call in additional help, such as ATFs National Response Team or chemical safety board. Are there any sort of specialized federal groups or even state agencies that could be brought in with their expertises into this?

Also with the safety aspect, after a fire, the building isn't always stable. So from a local jurisdiction of having, if possibly, a structural engineer look and make sure that the building is safe for the investigation itself, or if that's not available, if there's an insurance carrier on the structure, utilizing those resources as soon as it's found out to try to help bring in some expertise to look at the safety aspect of it, but also particular hazard classifications if there's any sort of dangers that are unbound.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. So you're coming into this with a whole number of players, and I'm wondering, I know it's different all the time, but when you walk into these, how do you find out who is in charge? How do you find out everyone's roles?

Andrew Bennett: That's a great question. From a general investigator first arriving at the scene, normally, if there is a warehouse that is in operation at that time, you're going to talk to whoever the manager is, or whoever the shift supervisor is and escalate from there to whoever the property owner is, or the actual owner of the business. A lot of it's just asking questions. Initially when you get there, you have to remember also, and this is huge of, with these incidents, people evacuate the building, and once they evacuate the building, responding firefighters, their priority is to make sure everybody is out and then start working on putting the fire out and keeping everybody back. As far as the investigator can get complex in trying to track people down at that point, if they haven't been found. And that's where public fire investigators rely heavily on law enforcement to start talking to people, to start getting information before they start disappearing. And when I say disappearing, it's nothing as far as malicious.

Rod Ammon: Let's go through sort of a laundry list for the initial personnel who were on the scene, like the fire and law enforcement, what are the best practices during the response?

Andrew Bennett: Okay. Initially, let's say for the fire department, when they get dispatched is to think about, have you completed any pre-plant for that structure? Do you know what's going to be inside? Do you know what hazards are inside? Do you know the fire department connections, which is normally a given, but have you walked around inside that facility or has your crew walked around inside that facility yet? And then pulling up that information, if you have it within the truck on response, and then telling your personnel, okay, this is what we have, but also just as important of, do we know the business is in operation at that time that you can start your evacuations, or do we need to look at this as more of a defensive attack, because there's nobody inside, we want to keep our personnel safe.

Andrew Bennett: And upon arriving is the first observations are critical or huge to an investigation because many times your fire investigators, if they aren't dispatched at the same time, they're showing up maybe an hour, maybe even more time later. And what they're seeing is a 172,000 square foot structure completely on the ground. When the first in crew, what they saw was a fire through the roof at the back BC corner of the structure. That's very important. Also whether the electricity was connected still, was there lights on inside the structure, if they could see anything. And as I mentioned before, are there anybody, or are there any employees that are on scene that can be basically told, Hey, standby in this area, we're going to need to get some information, but the fire crews go inside.

We also need the fire crews to understand, try before you pry, because we need to know, were windows broken beforehand? Was it possibly due to fire and ventilation? Were doors broken into before fire department arrival? Or is it just fire department damage? All of the fire department's first responder observations are massively important to an investigation, because they're the eyes and ears for everybody across the board, whether it's public investigators or private investigators. Now for law enforcement, for the most part is going to be securing the site, making sure people are evacuated or helping with evacuation.

But also with that is making their observations. What do they see if it's a certain time of night and the building isn't occupied, do they see somebody who just stands out and talking to them, getting their information or employees, those that were at the property... Just getting their basic name, address and phone number could be huge and what they saw, because again, they are first on scene as well. And sometimes they're first before the engines are there. So if they've got in-car cameras, turning the camera, just doing that alone, turning the camera inside their car to where it faces the structure to be able to see the fire progression or what they saw when they first got there can be massive to shortening the duration of the investigation.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. I can imagine. Now I'm thinking, you're there. Law enforcement has secured the scene, hopefully, and you're doing your 360 and getting ready to go a little bit deeper. What goes through your mind about resources? What are you thinking about what calls you might have to make?

Andrew Bennett: As we mentioned, the warehouses can vary, not only in size, but also what is inside. Many times jurisdictions automatically have HAZMAT respond and to have them check on either air quality or if there's any sort of particular chemicals inside that can be dangerous. And then the investigator, as you mentioned, they're doing their 360, is to think about their personal protective equipment, make sure they've got the proper gear on, whether they need an air pack to walk around the structure or just a half face two cartridge APR.

And start making your observations first and foremost, it's safety, any lines on the ground, any sort of possibility of collapse, but also with that is, what are some of the first observations for whether it's fire patterns or damage to doors and windows, whether it's fire department related for suppression or whether it was something prior to the fire itself. And also outside, not getting just tunnel vision just on the structure, but sometimes these warehouses they're in rural locations. So also looking away from the structure, maybe into a field to see if there's any items out there that shouldn't be there. Maybe something was being stolen at the time or this is a cover up of a crime, or maybe that there was some sort of work that was being done. And those are the parts that were supposed to go into the structure. It's not just on these 360s, just looking at the structure, but looking literally at a 360 around as you're walking around.

Rod Ammon: You also mentioned on the prep for this podcast about gathering documents.

Andrew Bennett: Right. With that, and also that goes with the 360 is, within these structures, some are required to have sprinkler systems, some are not. Looking at if it does have a sprinkler system, gathering the information of when they were last inspected, who inspected them. Were there any problems? Are there any logs? The other is video surveillance system. If there is any sort of cloud system where the video can be retrieved that could possibly give some information about what was happening prior to the fire. Any issues with employees that was documented such as being discharged or incidents that have happened, goes back to also fire inspections of any sort of inspection reports are integral time cards for employees.

You can see who went in, who went out of certain doors if they have the HID logging cards. With the fire alarm logs, if it did activate, what time it activated. More importantly, did the monitoring company call and notify the fire department in a timely manner, or even at all. There might have been.. I've had instances before where the fire alarm had went off a few times before the fire and had never been... The information never been transferred to the fire department for dispatch, which is obviously there was a problem before, and it just never got pushed through. And then also the security alarms, did they go off? Does it make sense? Was it due to the fire progression or was there somebody in there before?

Rod Ammon: What about other technology that you might use during the early investigation?

Andrew Bennett: Now all of us have SLR cameras or even point and shoot cameras to get the initial documentation, but there is additional technology now, such as these 3D or LiDAR cameras that can go in and make a 3D model, virtual model of the structure. The way these cameras work, they're on a tripod, it look like a small box on top, and it's usually connected by an iPad. And you go inside the structure, you push a button, the camera head spins, and it puts together several scans to actually create a 3D structure. With that documentation, you can actually walk back through, that same structure, five years later, virtually you can take a jury through it, you can walk witnesses through it. It's an amazing type of technology that we have access to as public investigators or even private investigators. But that's also where, for these cameras, you might have a jurisdiction, the public jurisdiction that doesn't have the funding for that.

And that's where it goes back to building these relationships with your private investigators in your area of, we need assistance on this, we know who... You're probably going to be brought in on the carrier or you already are. Can we get the 3D camera brought in. The other is drones. It's been a huge thing. For the longest time, the best way to get an overhead shot of a structure was by a ladder truck, worst case scenario helicopter. But now there's the drone technology out there that's used both during fire suppression efforts, which is fantastic because of safety. But also if drones are put in the air early by the public agency fire department, they can get the first in or first photographs of where the fire is, some overalls of fire progression, but even afterwards some great overall photographs of areas that might be structurally unstable. It's just the technology that's around nowadays is just amazing to be able to document the scenes, unlike where we were limited before with just basically a ladder and a camera.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. I'm also thinking that, people's phones and news agencies may be a place where you could be getting footage. How does that go? Tell me that.

Andrew Bennett: Yeah. That's a great, great thing to bring up. YouTube is a huge platform now, and then there's others out there, but to understand how to search for that effectively, there's also different apps. What is it Citizen? Is one I can think of off the top of my head, where if you know the general area, sometimes you can search for it where people have taken their own, like you said, personal cell phone videos. That's been huge as well because they're taking the videos before even the fire department gets there. Sometimes we've had it where vandalisms have occurred and we've had the actual people setting the fire, you can see their faces, but you can hear their voices on there saying different things or making fun of something. And you see the fire in the background riots that was fires with the riots in Portland. That's how they caught a lot of people was with these other platforms and people taking videos with their cell phones. Also with that, if you're able to find out who they are and they're witnesses, that's another great lead to go in to try to speak with them to what exactly they saw, why they were there, sometimes more importantly, and a lot of follow-ups can be made from that because everybody has a cell phone and everybody seems to either take pictures or videos of some of these incidents, if they're right next to it.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. I'm also wondering about news organizations. We often have trouble getting news footage of warehouse fires because there's this ownership and branding tied to it. How about you? Have you reached out to, let's say a station that you knew was flying a helicopter during the fire?

Andrew Bennett: It's a great question. The news agency will come up to the fire investigators or the fire department and say, Hey, we got there early, we've got pictures of the crowd, we hear that this is possibly going to be intentionally set, and they'll share the information because they want the right information to be out there. And they want to be able to report the right information, but they also want to be involved in it sometimes, that's just, if nothing else getting their name out there that X, Y, Z department received the footage from this news agency and just throwing that out there, sometimes that makes them just as happy as anything else.

Rod Ammon: Whatever it takes-

Andrew Bennett: Right. Exactly.

Rod Ammon: ... To get them involved. You touched on sprinklers, but... And I'll tell you, we do some other work related with sprinklers with some other folks, but can you speak more to the sprinkler system from a investigators point of view, you did touch on it a bit, but...

Andrew Bennett: Right. First off, as far as an investigator working a fire scene like this, sometimes it's just the magnitude itself of step by step, what do I need to secure? What do I need to look at? And one of the key components is if it does have a sprinkler system, how is it connected? And just as importantly, how did the fire department first connect to it? If need be, bring the fire department, whoever the... If you have access to that shift, have them bring that truck and bring that crew out there and walk through, what did they connect to? Many of us have probably seen the fire department connections, the FTCs on the outside of these structures, where the left to go to the structure and the right to go to the parking deck. And if there was any sort of delay in getting water to a standpipe or getting water to the system, or there was an issue, it's important to know, how did they connect and in the order in which they connected to.

Then working to the inside of, what kind of system is it? How old is the system? When was it last inspected? Is it proper? With inspections, sometimes whether it gets missed, or you've got some businesses that move in and they don't report that they're changing their hazard classification. And if that changes the hazard classification, that changes the type of sprinklers that should be in it. And just as important, having somebody with you who understands what they're looking for, you can do the initial documentation, the initial photographs, and how it's set up, but having somebody to analyze that system is normally a fire protection engineer. And that's where we were talking about of early on assessing what additional resources you need. Fire protection engineers, there are some in public agencies and there's several in private firms being able to know who to call and when to call.

Rod Ammon: Well, let me put it this way. I've heard that a lot of times some of these fires get out of control because the fire department walks in and shuts off the sprinkler system. Have you encountered that?

Andrew Bennett: I've encountered it one time before and the reasoning behind that they shut it off was there was two post indicating valves and they basically by accident shut off the wrong one because they thought one controlled one side of the building, one controlled the other side of the building. They chose incorrectly. Most of the time, the fire departments will leave it running. But many times the fire sprinkler, especially in like what we've talked about of these mega warehouse fires, the fire sprinklers already overrun. At that point, they're operating, but whether they're turned on or off, it doesn't make a difference. There's a lot of factors into that. I personally, haven't seen many fire departments that turn it off or have it within their protocol to turn it off, but I know of several instances where it happened and truly there wasn't a valid reason to do it because it wasn't harming anything.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. It's sad.

Andrew Bennett: Yeah.

Rod Ammon: But these things are complex, and we talk a lot about pre planning on our other networks. I'll bring that up later. Talk about some of the other complexities in investigating warehouse fires beyond your standard single family dwelling.

Andrew Bennett: Sure. Let's talk about cold storage. As far as a warehouse for cold storage, many of us think, okay, it's basically a big freezer, but within that, you can have different tenants within there. So X, Y, Z company has this freezer area, element OQ, company has this other freezer area. And no different than like an apartment complex, they rent out those spaces for their product, but it's within a very large 200,000 square foot structure. So whenever these fires occur, you have multiple parties involved in this investigation because, XYZ company has their carrier, this other person has their carrier. And of course, everybody wants to have an investigation done and know what's been found as far as the cause of the fire. If there's any sort of subrogation that can be taken out of it. The other is, just with a textile warehouse, the same thing, even if you have just a straight business owner who has all of his product inside, the product inside bolts of fabric may be insured by a different company because the structural carrier didn't cover the actual contents itself, where they might have multiple contents inside or coverage, sorry.

The other is exposures. If there's other buildings around, such as... I'm near Los Angeles, you have a warehouse that catches fire, unless it's very well contained, it's going to affect the other surrounding structure. So they're going to have an interest in what happened because they have claims on their properties. What public agencies need to remember is, it doesn't always just go away once they're finished with the investigation, they may go in there and get a video, and it shows a light fixture too close to combustibles and it catches fire. That can be integral to the public agency, because that can take the private investigators multiple joint scene exams down to one, instead of having six months of exams, holding the property, not being able to let anybody else in, not doing any restoration, not doing any additional work. And it compounds from there.

Generally, with warehouse fires, it's not just a one and done as far as the owner, there's usually multiple people involved in this, and that's not even counting whoever the company that's in the area of origin that has their product there, whether it's a light fixture, whether it's a contractor that did some work in there, or it's the actual lithium on batteries that caught fire and that company can be held liable for it. That complexity there can just be huge to the point that you're listing everything on a spreadsheet, trying to keep everybody straight. And everybody coming out to the scene itself on a particular day can be a kind of a circus in itself to make sure everybody is on the same page.

Rod Ammon: Okay. I'm thinking about a couple other things, you've spoken briefly about safety overall, and I don't think we need to go through that over, we've got modules on that. You touched on HAZMAT the fact that, well, in a way, the fact that there's a lot of materials in these places, sometimes you don't even know what they are, or in the Amazon situation, you could have everything from cotton to some chemicals that are going on. Anything else you wanted to say about that?

Andrew Bennett: Yeah. As far as the HAZMAT?

Rod Ammon: Sure.

Andrew Bennett: With hazardous materials on some of these scenes, we understand that public agencies either were out to monitor for air quality. If you've got such as a manufacturing facility that also has a warehouse attached and they process chickens, or they process some other animal product, that's a sometimes a forgotten hazardous material. And so when the warehouse gets shut down along with the manufacturing facility, now you have a biological hazardous materials and I've had scenes where EPA has had to come out for days, and also the CDC to monitor for whether it's toxins or airborne particulates that they don't want to get outside the structure. You have to think about the hazardous materials in these structures, not just your standard HAZMAT products that your hazard materials teams respond to, maybe day to day, but also where there's a manufacturing process and a warehouse that are connected such as for poultry or for other meat products.

And whenever the building gets shut down or is fire damage, then I've had scenes where the EPA and the CDC have been out at the scene to do air monitoring and also particular monitoring regarding the toxins of the meat product, to where everybody out there had to be in either Level B or Level A suits. And also the hazardous materials aspect of the anhydrous ammonia that's being used as a refrigerant. That's another complexity within there as far as mitigating to get people into the scene, just to start the examination that is integral for the safety aspect.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. It makes me think about one other thing and... Everything you just mentioned makes this topic sound even harder, which is spoilation. Could you talk about how you avoid spoilation?

Andrew Bennett: Absolutely. When we talked about, before of securing the scene, that's first and foremost, it's not just for safety, but it's also for the safety of the investigation, whether it's criminal or whether it's going to be civil. And many times for public agencies, their first and foremost thought is, is this a criminal act? If it's not a criminal act and it's accidental, then everything gets stepped down a little bit. But for the private agency side or your insurance carrier side, or the other interested parties for manufacturers that might be involved in this, that's where it actually steps up. So it's kind of reversed. And scene security is the first and foremost, because we want to make sure that nothing is being removed and nothing is being changed or altered without necessity...

Now, of course, overhaul is necessary, but if fencing can be put up to secure the scene, if security can be up there or coordinated with the insurance carrier to secure the scene, that's great. And also public agency, investigators, fire marshals, they have the ability to hold the scene. I've worked with them before to where, as I mentioned previously, we can work together without overly sharing information that might again, show that there was too much working side by side on a fire investigation that might have be seen as skewing somebody's final origin and cause. But within there, the fire marshals can bring in the public agency, let them take photographs, get information before items are moved or bulldozed or torn down.

Also within there is the again, sharing photographs, sharing early information, letting people go in, whether it's on the private or public side with the 3D scanning cameras or LiDAR cameras to initially capture the scene of... I've actually got one that's ongoing at a manufacturing/warehouse facility where we did do a 3D scan of it and actually the fire department is still holding the scene and we are going in at different sections of their investigation to do our documentation. So it doesn't overly spoilate as far as what's left or the actual physical evidence. And within there, we have to consider, are all the parties that are going to be involved in it, put on notice or notified and are at the scene whenever this occurs.

Rod Ammon: A lot to pay attention to, huh?

Andrew Bennett: A lot. A whole lot. It's huge. And then also, that's sometimes where on the public investigation side, it's either forgotten, which totally understand. I totally get that because I remember being on a scene of a house fire and thinking, okay, it's a garage fire, it's this and this. And that's it. That's where my day ended as far as my investigation. But then I will be contacted by the insurance community and their day was just beginning for it. And then it was going on for months or sometimes these go on for years and public fire investigators sometimes forget that it might be five years later and they're getting pulled into a deposition because they want to know, as we mentioned, they were the first in, they first saw everything and they're going to give their testimony five years later on what they saw and hopefully they have great notes and great documentation.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. I bet. So. Thanks for all that. I mean, that's a, what you just went through is a mouthful. I'm thinking now going back to you, and you're in your vehicle and you're pulling up on a fire like QVC in North Carolina or Walmart in Indiana, where do you start?

Andrew Bennett: So pulling up at... Okay. So is this from a overall investigation side?

Rod Ammon: Yeah. As an investigator in your position.

Andrew Bennett: Okay. From an investigator, first pulling up on a scene is, take a second because there's going to be a lot going on, take a breath and start taking notes, taking photographs as you're walking up to the scene, unless you're pulling up right next to the command post, generally as... What you mentioned, you're literally pulling up and parking and sometimes you're parking quite a ways away. And so from there start taking photographs, start taking notes of where either trucks are positioned or where the fire is at that point, what the condition of the structure is. If you hear anybody saying anything on comments as you're walking either through a crowd and at that point, go to the command post.

First and foremost, you to check in and also find out if they know, has anybody been pulled to the side to speak with, do they know where the owner is, do they know where the plant manager is or the warehouse manager is, because sometimes they'll be there at the command post itself and start methodically working through gathering information because you're not going inside, obviously the fire is still ongoing, it's still a dangerous environment. So at that point, you're literally working on getting information together, of doing these initial interviews, telling law enforcement, Hey, we need to find this person or that person over there. Can you get their information, find out if they saw anything and get that initial interviews and scene documentation completed.

Rod Ammon: Sounds like good advice. I've heard a lot of different fire investigators over the years saying, before you even get out of your vehicle, just stop, take a breath, think about what it is you got to go do, because going through those initial steps that you discussed, I think probably gets you into the flow and makes it a lot easier.

Andrew Bennett: It absolutely does. It can be very overwhelming. No matter how many fires you've been to, no matter how big the fires you have been to, you just have to remember you as a fire investigator, you're there to investigate the fire. At one point you might have been the one on the truck, pulling the lines and doing all the work that you see in front of you, but your job right there, your role is to help figure out what happened. And remember that, it's not just figure out what happened, so the business can rebuild and move on, but it's also part of after action reports, it's it also helps your department understand, this is what happened. And then it plays into the fire progression itself and the fire dynamics, which the firefighters need to know about.

Rod Ammon: Makes a lot of sense. Looking for some, well, solutions, I don't know about solutions, causes, let's say. As you look a across all the different warehouse fire investigations you've been involved in or studied, what are some of the common fire causes that you find?

Andrew Bennett: Some of the overall most common are electrical and lighting, incendiary or exposures or smoking. And let's just talk about a few of them. With electrical, it can be that the system is not up to date, not up to code, or the maintenance is done in house. I've seen them before where wires have been twisted together for lighting. And instead of using electrical tape or wire nuts, they've used just clear packing tape or whatever was close by. I've seen them use extension cords and cut the ends off to use it as just wire extensions. I've also seen where they don't have plugs. I'm sorry, the actual prongs on plugs for lights. And they very, I guess, bravely stuck the ends of the wires into the receptacle as... As crazy as that is.

The electrical system, you never know, there can be problems that have been ongoing that even the owner doesn't know about because it's above drop ceiling. It could be things that they didn't want to have to pay a lot of money, so they got their in-house worker or one of the workers to do it. The other is, as mentioned, lighting. It's dark, contemporary lighting is sometimes used because again, cost. That's one thing that also needs to be remembered is inside these structures, there's sometimes a very thin margin for what money that they're making for the product that they're storing or even if it's a distribution center, and they're trying to save money wherever they can. And so if it's a dark area I've seen where they've used, just floor lamps, just along racks to light the way or they've put lighting in areas where there's not a whole lot of ventilation.

Or they're trying to put as much product inside, and so the product is right against the light bulb or the light fixture itself at the rooftop, which does a few things. It'll ignite the product or smolder it to ignition, but also the sprinkler system might be blocked or is not rated for something like that. Then you've got the incendiary, the intentionally set, whether it's disgruntled employees, somebody wants to go home early, a concealment of a crime, vandalism. And exposure fires is also a common one in metropolitan areas. As homelessness is on the rise, we have, especially in some of these large metropolitan areas, tents that are put up against structures. And if somebody homeless related gets mad at another homeless individual and sets their tent on fire, or if there's something careless going on and their tent catches on fire or their home, then it can spread to the structure itself and progress to the interior as well.

I've also had, this isn't as common, but automatic retrieval system. So in Amazon is just an example of an automatic retrieval system where a product is in a certain rack, and the worker is programming in what needs to be taken down from what rack and you've got these automatic arm systems that go along these tracks. There was one in Europe that actually caught fire and created small spot fires along its track as it moved along inside of a warehouse. That's not as common, but it's a technology that's in there that can cause a fire. And then of course, going back to employees, smoking. Large warehouses, they may have smoking areas, but they're not as convenient or there's a short break time for them to smoke. So instead of going all the way out, they go to a far corner of the facility to have their smoke break and forget to put a cigarette out or it falls in between boxes.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. I'm thinking about... Well, I know a little bit about some of these things with the top loading or automated facilities, as you've mentioned, do you think about any additional equipment that you might need to have if you're involved in a fire like that?

Andrew Bennett: So no different than maybe with a fire alarm system. Many of these have a control panel that you can download the information from. I carry with me a small USB thumb drive, it's about 256 gigs. It's enough room that... I can carry it in my pocket and it has enough space that if I'm walking through one of these structures or the IT room with their team, that they can say, yeah, we can download the information for this system. And a lot of these, as you mentioned, the automatic retrieval systems, they either go up to a cloud based system or to an actual server type room or hard drive room, and the information is collected there. So you can see where maybe the item or the arm exactly was at that time, what the positions were, almost like a black box within a vehicle. Each system is a little bit different. Just like fire alarm systems, they're all just a little bit different in themselves.

Rod Ammon: But it sounds like a good hint, carrying it around.

Andrew Bennett: Absolutely it is. Yeah. It has saved me a lot of walking, whenever... It seems like it's always in the wrong place at the wrong time whenever somebody turns around and says, Hey, do you have a way... Do you have a thumb drive with you? Do you have something to... We can download the information right now. That's exactly when you want it. Right then right there not have to come back or try to track them down days later, always keep... Nowadays with technology, everything seems to be able to be plugged in with a thumb drive to download.

Rod Ammon: Do you have a case study or one specific fire that you've been to where you feel there was a lot to be learned or where you learned a lot?

Andrew Bennett: Yeah. There is one that went really well. There was a manufacturing facility where the fire department was initially told that there was an explosion on the property. And that, upon speaking with the workers, there was conflicting statements, whether it was a woosh sound, or it was actually just a fire itself, but nobody ever mentioned an explosion. As we discussed, when the first in firefighters arrived, a lot of them had, the engineers had their cameras out or had cameras on their helmets. So we had a lot of good information of at least where the fire was located. We had no information initially from the video showing that there was any walls pushed out, any doors blown out, any sort of real true explosion at that point. And upon further investigation found that there was multiple parties that were going to be involved in this, those that had worked on different conveyor belts and boilers and other items within pieces of equipment within that area.

So once we had all of them in place, the fire marshal still held the scene itself. And again, shared information, but also allowed us to work quasi and tandem that we could have subject matter experts, go in and look and determine, no, there was not an explosion, there was actually a leak from a pipe where a flammable liquid that was used as a heating oil sprayed and caught fire. That's one of my best examples of how public agencies and private agencies can work together to find out and disperse any sort of wrong information. The news agencies had reported that there was a massive multiple explosions at the property. And as we had talked about earlier in this of getting information from news agencies is important, but also using the totality of all the information that you gather is just as important in itself.

I have another example, and this was an international loss. This was actually in Mexico. There was some issues, not only with translation, but also with the fact that their warehouses are varied, just as much as the US, but their electrical system obviously is very different than anywhere in the US as well. Their electrical code is different. So going into that, getting the initial information and talking with the first workers that first saw the fire was integrally important because we went from looking at 200,000 square feet to basically 800 square feet and reconstructing that area with the help of the workers and translators to find out where exactly the fire was first seen in that corner. And then finding, basically, a pinched wire where you could see electrical activity and that there was paper products. And once video was later pulled confirmed that there was, basically a smoldering fire in that area that progressed.

Rod Ammon: Yeah. Wow. Well, it must have been nice first of all, to get it down to a smaller area, and then being able to get somebody to translate for you, I'm sure was very helpful. What lessons have you learned that you want to share from all these different warehouse fires? What could we be doing better?

Andrew Bennett: For fire departments is, pre-plans. It's very important and that's never changed over the years, no matter how technology has changed of getting in the truck and going to different facilities within your district or within your zone that you're in and understanding what's there and what the products are, or at least driving around the building and familiarizing yourself with where the FDCs are and what kind of fire suppression systems or what kind of products are inside. Pre-plans are huge. It's understood that many departments have different type of funding that some can have very elaborate systems even within their vehicle and others do not where it's something that they have to come back to the station and enter it in into their station computer, and either have hard copies in a book or some other form. As part of these pre-plans is to remember, it's not just about again, the storage aspect or the product aspect, but also what kind of shifts are there, how many people are in the building, what are their tasks, where are their roles, and where are their safety areas? Where do they evacuate to? And then the other is, who is the point of contacts? Even if you go there for a fire alarm, you're going to have a point of contact, but the last time you want to find out that your contact is incorrect is whenever you have an incident happening in front of you.

And then with the fire marshal is, we talked about, for the public fire investigator is to take that breath, take that second to walk through in your head just briefly and quickly before you get out of your vehicle of, this is what I'm going to start with, and this is what I see in your initial observations. Many times, you may see exactly where the fire occurred, or who you need to speak with once you get out of the vehicle. And if you're not paying attention, you might just walk right by it. Again, it's the totality from the time you get there to the end of the investigation where everything can line up. And don't forget, your private entities that can assist you and also state and local agencies. As I mentioned, your state, whether it's a boiler commission or inspectors, or even your federal fire investigators, ATF, for example, that can bring resources in to assist. There's nothing wrong with asking for help, no matter what size of scene it is.

Rod Ammon: Well, are we missing or forgetting anything?

Andrew Bennett: I don't think so. It's just again, taking that breath and that time to understand, yep, it's a huge scene. Yep, this is really big, but you're going to work through it just like you've worked through any other fire investigation that you have. It's just going to have maybe a lot more arms and legs to it.

Rod Ammon: And more pages or more tape or whatever, more photos.

Andrew Bennett: That's right.

Rod Ammon: Well, I appreciate your time. I will say we do have a sister network that I was going to mention later in the podcast that's been put on by FM Global and it relates to your pre-planning. It doesn't relate to fire investigation specifically, but it's FM Global Fire Resources, I think it is. And I'll get that right later on, but their whole thing there is, they're teaching about sprinkler buildings, fighting fire and sprinkler buildings, they're talking about pre-planning in these kind of often rural locations, and now they're dealing with robots. What are you going to need when you have to deal with a top loading system that is... To me, it looks like a giant Rubik's cube sitting in the middle of a facility. One of the things that was interesting to me, I thought you might mention it was... But you're not dealing with it. That case they're saying, the fire department needs to know that they may have to have a backhoe to rip one of these open, to get to the fire. So it's, who would've thought, you know?

Andrew Bennett: I know.

Rod Ammon: But...

Andrew Bennett: It's true.

Rod Ammon: Anything you wanted to say before we say goodbye?

Andrew Bennett: No, I appreciate the opportunity. And I appreciate the forethought, because, like you said, these fires happen every day and it's usually only the big ones that get put in the news, but they're just as important regardless.

Rod Ammon: Well, thanks again, Andrew. I appreciate your time very much.

Andrew Bennett: Thank you. Have a good day.

Rod Ammon: You too, sir.

On this podcast, CFITrainer.Net page, we have some additional warehouse fire resources for you to explore. So please check that out. CFITrainer is approaching its 100th episode, to celebrate, we want to hear from you, send us your experiences and examples of how CFITrainer.Net has positively impacted your practice of fire investigation or otherwise working fire scenes. We'd love to hear any examples you have about how something you learned on CFITrainer.Net helped you in an investigation, or you can share with us how CFITrainer.Net has aided you in your work in general. We may contact you for a quick chat that will appear on a future podcast episode. Please use the feedback form at to tell us about your experiences.

As promised I said, I would share a resource that you could share with your firefighting peers, send them to, and they can learn about fighting fires and sprinkler buildings. There they'll find a new module about fighting fires and warehouses that have top loading storage systems using robots to retrieve goods. The link to this resource is on the podcast page.

This podcast and CFITrainer.Net are made possible by funding from a fire prevention and safety grant from the assistance to firefighters grant program administered by FEMA and the US Department of Homeland Security. Support also comes from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and voluntary online donations from CFITrainer.Net users and podcast listeners.

Thanks for joining us today on the podcast. Stay safe. We'll see you next month. For IAAI and CFITrainer.Net, I'm Rod Ammon.

NEWS ROUNDUP: March 2024 - News Roundup - March 2024
Discussing Mentorship from Both the Mentor and Mentee Perspectives with Steve Avato - We discuss mentorship, from both the mentor and mentee perspectives, with Steve Avato, retired ATF Supervisory Special Agent CFI and Fire Marshal Captain with the Loudoun County Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office.
A CONVERSATION WITH SPECIAL AGENT ADAM ST. JOHN AND CAPTAIN CRAIG MATTHEWS - Today, we’re taking a deep dive into fires where the ignition was associated with CSST — that’s corrugated stainless steel tubing.
Laboratory Analysis of Fatty Acids, Oils, and Alcohols with Laurel Mason and Doug Byron - Today, we’re talking about using a lab in your investigations. More specifically, we are going to talk to two experienced forensic scientists about analysis of fatty acids, oils, and alcohols.
The Role of Metallurgical and Materials Science in Fire Origin and Cause Determination. - We’ve got something new and pretty interesting for you today — a closer look at the role of metallurgical and materials science in fire origin and cause determination. Our guide into this world is Larry Hanke.
What's new at the National Fire Academy - A conversation with Kevin Oliver on what’s new at the National Fire Academy.
2022 IAAI Investigator of the Year - Today we're talking with Fire Arson Investigator Nicole Brewer of Portland Fire and Rescue in Oregon. Investigator Brewer was named the IAAI Investigator of the Year in 2022
Multi Unit Multi Fatality Fires - This month, we’re tackling a tough topic on the CFITrainer.Net podcast.
NFPA 1321 is coming in 2023. Are you ready? December 2022 - In 2023, NFPA will release a new standard, NFPA 1321: Standard for Fire Investigation Units. We preview this standard on the newest episode of the CFITrainer.Net podcast.
Spoliation: What You Don't Know Can Jeopardize Your Investigation November 2022 - Attorney Chris Konzelmann Discusses Lessons Learned from Recent Litigation
The Internet of Things: September 2022 - Welcome to the CFITrainer.Net podcast. Today, we're talking about the Internet of Things. You're going to learn what that is and why it's an important investigative tool you might not be using.
News Roundup: July 2022 - This month on a new episode of the CFITrainer.Net podcast, we’re talking about fascinating news that’s crossed our feed recently.
Fire Investigator Health and Safety: March 2022 - This month on a new episode of the CFITrainer.Net podcast, Dr. Gavin Horn, Research Engineer at UL's Fire Safety Research Institute, and Jeff Pauley, Chair of the IAAI’s Health & Safety Committee, discuss the latest research on fire investigator health and safety.
NFPA 1321: New NFPA Standard Affecting Fire Investigation Units: January 2022 - On this month’s CFITrainer.Net podcast, we talk with Randy Watson, chair of the technical committee for NFPA 1321: Standard for Fire Investigation Units.
December 2021 - On this month’s CFITrainer.Net podcast, we look back at 2021 and how CFITrainer.Net evolved to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly changing technology.
October 2021 - Welcome to the CFITrainer.Net Podcast. It's been a while since we've done a news round up so today we're covering some new research and fire investigation cases.
Fire as a Cover for Murders and Gender Reveal Fires: September 2021 - This episode we talk to Texas Ranger Sergeant Drew Pilkington about incendiary fires as a cover for murder and we discuss a tragic quadruple domestic violence homicide.
May 2021 - As part of National Arson Awareness Week, CFITrainer.Net has a new podcast exploring the week's theme, "Arson During Civil Unrest."
December 2020 - On this podcast we talk to Bobby Schaal about the new Fire Investigation for Fire Officer certificate and then we offer a brief update on an investigation in Stowe, Vermont.
August 2020 - This month we talk to a legend in the fire investigation field, Dr. Quintiere, sometimes known as Dr. Q. He has a rich experience in the fire service dating back to the 70’s, and he is working on fire in micro-gravity today.
July 2020 - July '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this new episode of the CFITrainer.Net podcast, Scott Bennett, talks about the fascinating case he and Mark Shockman worked that won them the IAAI Investigator of the Year Award. You won't want to miss our conversation. And, new IAAI President Rick Jones stops by to discuss what he is excited about for IAAI's growth this coming year — there are a lot of innovative and valuable initiatives on the way.
June 2020 - June '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this month's podcast we interview Doug Byron, President and Senior Forensic Chemist from the FAST lab about fats and oils and spontaneous combustion, and how they are involved in fire investigation. After our interview with Doug, we offer some thoughts on your job and the COVID-19 situation.
May 2020 - May '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. Join us this month for a new podcast where we talk briefly about online learning that is available and then we speak with Dr. Peter Mansi, Past President of the IAAI.
April 2020 - April '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month on the Podcast we interview President Barry M. Grimm from the IAAI and talk to Wayne Miller, Author of "Burn Boston Burn -The largest arson case in the history of the country.
March 2020 - March '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month on the Podcast we talk about some resources for COVID, updates from the IAAI and talk with a fire Marshall in New Hampshire about challenges in their region related to Sober Homes.
February 2020 - February '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast follows along with our technology theme. We look at social media’s effect on some fire investigations and then we talk with Mike Parker about his work with social media while at the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
January 2020 - January '20 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast gives you updates on Australia’s wild fires and an investigation and arrest tied to a large New Jersey fire. We also talk with Zach McCune from Rolfe’s Henry about a case study and course that he and Shane Otto will be leading at ITC this year. Zach talks about an arson fraud case and how spoofing and masking technologies were used to frame an innocent mother and perpetuate an arson fraud.
December 2019 - December '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In under ten minutes this podcast offers a review of 2019 milestones and new content and features that you might have missed. We also give you a quick preview of what to expect in 2020.
November 2019 Podcast - November '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we learn about two new technology solutions being studied for fire investigation and then we visit with Lester Rich from the National Fire Academy
October 2019 Podcast - October '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this podcast episode, we’re back for the second part of the CCAI live burn training event — the actual burn and post-fire.
September 2019 Podcast - September '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we travel to San Luis Obispo where we were hosted by the California chapter of the IAAI (CCAI). We had a rare opportunity to experience what it’s like to set up this training and experience a wildland burn in California. There was a lot to learn!
August 2019 Podcast - August '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's CFITrainer.Net podcast is under 15 minutes and offers information about fires in electric vehicles and what you need to know.
May 2019 Podcast - May '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this month's CFITrainer.Net podcast, you'll hear from ATF Special Agent Chad Campanell, who will discuss how ATF can assist state and local fire investigators with training and investigations, ATF resources available to fire investigators, and ATF's support of CFITrainer.Net. Also, we summarize the final report of a multi-fatality fire at a senior living community in Pennsylvania, where ATF cooperated with state and local investigators to reach conclusions.
April 2019 Podcast - April '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. There are two new additions to CFITrainer.Net! A new podcast with Dan Madrzykowski from UL speaking about ventilation and Fire Flow, and a new module called “Fire Flow Analysis”.
March 2019 Podcast - March '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast includes updates from the IAAI related to the election, the upcoming ITC, and a new website specifically about evidence collection. After the updates, you will also hear some news stories related to fire investigation.
February 2019 Podcast - February '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month take 10 mins and hear some fire investigation and IAAI news.
January 2019 Podcast - January '19 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we’re looking back on some of the biggest issues in fire investigation in 2018.
November 2018 Podcast - November '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk with Jeff Pauley from the IAAI’s Health and Safety Committee. Jeff is an IAAI-CFI and the Chairman of the Health and Safety Committee. In this podcast, he talks about ways to reduce exposure to carcinogens related to fire investigation. By listening, you will learn about ways to reduce your risks, learn about new resources that are available to assist you, and research that is coming soon.
October 2018 Podcast - October '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month meet and learn about IAAI’s new Executive Director, Scott Stephens and plans for the future. After that interview, hear some wild stories from the national news related to fire investigation.
September 2018 News Roundup - September '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts.
Short stories related to fire investigation - June '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. Join us for a brief Podcast that includes five minutes of short stories related to fire investigation.
What you need to know about Arson Awareness week - April '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we welcome Tonya Hoover, the Superintendent of the National Fire Academy. Superintendent Hoover came to the NFA with more than 20 years of experience in local and state government, most recently as the California State Fire Marshal.
Growing pot and earning Bitcoin can start fires? - March '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this month’s podcast, hear a story about how the Bitcoin business might be causing fires? What similarities are there between Pot growers and now Bitcoin miners?
Training related to wildland fire investigation - February '18 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast highlights new training related to wildland fire investigation featuring an interview with Paul Way, and this year’s International Training Conference. We also have a pretty wild story before we wrap up. Birds starting fires?
Smart homes and digital data gathering issues - December '17 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this podcast, we discuss two topics on the technology and forensics cutting edge. Michael Custer of Kilgore Engineering, Inc. and retired Special Agent Tully Kessler share some knowledge and give us a taste of the classes that they will be presenting at ITC 2018.
Discussion with Writer Monica Hesse - September '17 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this podcast, you will hear some great news related to the IAAI and CFITrainer.Net and then we have an interview with Monica Hesse, the writer of a new book called "American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 web site.
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.
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.