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Certified Fire Investigator Arson Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Arson, Certified Fire Investigator, Structure Fires, Vehicle Fires, Marine Fires, Vegetation Fires, Rubbish Fires, Fatal Fires, Fire and Explosion Investigator, Certified Evidence Collection Technician, Wildland Fires,

 

 

Expert No. 3726
Certified Fire Investigator through the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and the California Conference of Arson Investigators (CCAI). Also a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). Currently, he is a Fire Captain with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and is permanently assigned to the Metro Arson Strike Team as a Fire Investigator. Concurrent to working for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, Expert Witness is a fire investigator and owner of private Forensics company. Expert coordinates training for Southern California fire investigators and continues to increase his knowledge of fire investigation by attending fire and explosives investigation training throughout the country.

 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2017 to Present      Private Forensics Company, San Diego, CA

  • Fire Investigator/Owner

2014 to Present SAN DIEGO FIRE-RESCUE DEPARTMENT

Metro Arson Strike Team, San Diego, CA

  • Fire Captain/Investigator

2006 to Present SAN DIEGO FIRE-RESCUE DEPARTMENT, San Diego, CA

  • Firefighter, Fire Engineer, & Fire Captain

2012 to 2017 FIRE CAUSE ANALYSIS, Berkeley, CA

  • Fire Investigator

2011 to 2012 FIRE CAUSE ANALYSIS, Berkeley, CA

  • Fire Investigation Scene Assistant

2004 CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION, San Diego, CA

  • Firefighter I

2003 to 2005 SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • Paid Call Firefighter

 

EDUCATION

  • 2017 – Present Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (3 units)
  • 2015 – 2016Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY (9 units)
  • 2009 – 2012 Miramar College, San Diego, CA (41 units)
  • 2002 – 2005California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA (107 units)

 

​PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

  • Certified Fire Investigator with Motor Vehicle Fire Credential Endorsement (IAAI-CFI(V)) 2016
  • Certified Fire Investigator (CFI),2012
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), NAFI 2012
  • Certified Evidence Collection Technician (IAAI-ECT), IAAI  2015
  • Certified Fire Fighter I, CSFM  2006
  • Certified Fire Fighter II, CSFM  2007

 

INVESTIGATIVE EXPERIENCE

Type  Accidental   Incendiary        Natural        Undetermined
Structure Fires       102        69     0         77
Vehicle Fires         32        29     0         20
Marine Fires           1          0     0           0
Vegetation Fires           1         11     0          18
Rubbish Fires           5         43     0          23
Fatal Fires           3           1     0            5

 

Expert Witness has investigated approximately 440 fires, of which he authored the origin and cause report on 378 of those. He has assisted in approximately 175 fire investigations has been involved in suppression activity of approximately 170 fires.

 

TEST BURNS AND EXPLOSIONS

2017  

  • Recreated fire scene involving extension cord and RPT with 1600-watt load. Burned extension cord using radiant heater.

2016  

  • Advanced Origin and Cause/Courtroom Testimony – observed 2 compartment fires, 10 appliance fires, 2 gasoline pool fires, 1 polyurethane foam fire, and 1 fuel-air explosion
  • Camp Pendleton Fire School – lit and observed over 12 vegetation fires
  • Fire Physics for Wildland Fire Investigators – lit 4 fires involving a collection of vegetation and denatured alcohol to simulate rates of spread on incline and fire whirls

2015

  • A Fresh Look at Fire Dynamics – lit one compartment fire, one milk jug incendiary device, and rolls of gauze on plywood to simulate holes burned in flooring

2014

  • SLO FIST Vehicle Fire Investigation – observed the test burning of a motor home
  • Electrical Aspects of Fire Investigation – observed the burning of energized and non-energized conductors
  • Wildland Fire Investigation FI-210 – observed two vegetation test burns
  • Arson Statutes – lit 4 rubbish fires comprising of t-shirts, cardboard, and vegetation
  • Explosive Hazard Recognition & Safety Training – observed 4 explosions and initiated 1 explosion of military explosives

2013

  • Fire/Arson Origin and Cause Investigations (R206) – observed fires involving polyurethane foam, a compartment fire, and a vehicle fire
  • California Conference of Arson Investigators Conference – two live burns of compartment fires

2012

  • Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings – observed 6 explosions of commercial and military explosives

2011

  • Vehicle Fire Investigation – observed 2 vehicle fires

 

SPECIALIZED TRAINING

2017

  • Engineering Aspects of Vehicle Fire Investigation – SDFD MAST/CCAI (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5)(8)-(11)(13)(16)
  • Large Scale Fire Scene and LODD Investigations – SDFD MAST/ATF (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)-(11)(15)
  • Fundamentals of Vehicle Fire Investigation – Society of Automotive Engineers (20 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)-(11)(13)(15)

2016

  • Advanced Origin and Cause/Courtroom Testimony – ATF (86 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(16)
  • Vehicle System Forensics – Berla Corporation [iVe] (32 hours)
  • Fire Physics for Wildland Fire Investigators – SDFD MAST/USFS (6 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(7)-(9)
  • Ignition, Self-Heating, and Spontaneous Combustion: A short course on ignition – SDFD MAST/Vyto Babrauskas (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(12)
  • Profiling the Arson Scene – SDFD MAST/Det. Ed Nordskog LASD (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7 (8)(10)(15)
  • CFI Trainer Fire Investigation Modules – IAAI (194 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(16)

2015

  • Post Blast Investigative Techniques – ATF (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(6),(15),(16)
  • Evidence Collection – CCAI (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(2),(14),(15)
  • A Fresh Look at Fire Dynamics – SDFD MAST/ATF (7 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)
  • Use of Burglar Alarms in Investigations – SDFD MAST (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(16)
  • Butane Hash Oil Labs – Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(6),(10),(12),(15)
  • NFPA 921/Solid-Fuel and Gas-Burning Appliances – CCAI (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(13)
  • Reading Wildland Fire Indicators – CCAI (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8),(10)
  • Hazardous Materials Course FRO – SDFD (annually refreshed)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(12)

2014

  • Forensic Vehicle Fire Investigation – SLOFIST (32 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(13),(15)
  • Electrical Aspects of Fire Investigations – National Fire Academy (48 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)-(11),(13),(16)
  • Photography for Fire Investigators – CCAI (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(15)
  • Wildland Fire Investigation FI-210 – NWCG (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(15)
  • Arson Statutes – CCAI (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)
  • Explosive Hazard Recognition & Safety Training – DHS (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(6)

2013

  • Fire/Arson Origin and Cause Investigations (R206) – National Fire Academy/ATF (96 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(11),(13),(15),(16)

2012

  • Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings – New Mexico Tech EMRTC (32 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(6)
  • Juvenile Fire Setters FATJAM Training – San Diego Burn Institute (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)

2011

  • Arson Murders and Fire Death Investigations – LA HIDTA (8 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)
  • Vehicle Fire Investigation – CCAI (7 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)-(11),(13),(15)
  • Vehicle Fire Investigation – CCAI (4 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)-(11),(13),(15)
  • Expert Courtroom Testimony Program – IAAI (40 hours)
  • Fire Prevention 1A: Introduction to the California Fire Code – CSFM (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(14)

2010

  • Fire Investigation 1B: Techniques of Fire Investigation – CSFM (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)-(11)
  • Fire Investigation 2A: Criminal and Legal Procedures – CSFM (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8)
  • Fire Investigation 2B: Field Case Studies – CSFM (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8),(10),(11)
  • Investigations of Electrical and Appliance Related Fires – IAAI/AHAM (20 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(8),(13),(16)

2009

  • Fire Investigation 1A: Fire Origin and Cause Determination – CSFM (40 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(15)
  • Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior S-290 – NWCG (32 hours)
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1),(2),(5)

 

CONFERENCES

  • 2013 CCAI November Training Conference: San Luis Obispo, CA
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(13)
  • 2012 CCAI March Training Conference: San Luis Obispo, CA
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(13)
  • 2011 IAAI Annual Training Conference: Las Vegas, NV
    • NFPA 1033 1.3.7(1)-(5),(8)-(11),(13),(15),(16)

 

COURSES INSTRUCTED

2016

  • Vehicle Fire Investigation – CSFM Investigation 1A, Southwestern College
  • Auto Arson – CDAA Fraud Symposium

 

 

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