January 2020 Blog Post

Firensics—Haag’s Fire Origin and Cause Experts

In November, Haag welcomed its new Fire Origin and Cause Group—Firensics. Firensics provides fire origin and cause investigations, HAZMAT investigations, evidence collection and storage, burn testing, code and research analysis, and expert witness testimony.

Firensics’ investigation services perfectly complement the fire services Haag engineers have provided for decades--fire origin and cause inspections related to mechanical failures needing a Professional Engineer’s seal.

Firensics is dedicated to providing the highest-quality forensic investigations of fires and explosions in the industry. Their team of seasoned and court-tested investigators is committed to quickly finding the answers you need through industry-recognized scientific methods. With a thorough understanding of subrogation, liability, and fraud, Firensics makes your job easier by answering all of your questions for O & C investigation and providing technical reports, if requested, within 5 business days for most non-legal residential and auto assignments.  

The team at Firensics is led by Director of Fire Investigation Services, Ed Roberts, IAAI-CFI. Ed is a seasoned fire investigator, with over 1,500 fire investigations and 25 years of experience investigating fires. (See Teams profiles below)

For more information on Firensics, or to submit your fire O&C assignment. 

FIRENSICS SERVICES—
  • ORIGIN AND CAUSE INVESTIGATIONS
    • From complex commercial fires and explosions to vehicle and heavy machinery fires to wildland fires, Firensics investigators can handle any scale or scope of investigation you bring. With a coverage area of multiple states, and a number of highly qualified and experienced investigators to support one another in large-scale incidents, we are there for you. And in the event one of our investigators disagrees with a local law enforcement investigator’s findings, we can provide an objective, second opinion at no charge.             
  • HAZMAT INVESTIGATIONS
    • To some extent, every fire scene is a hazardous environment. In addition to investigators certified to manage and investigate HAZMAT sites, each of our investigators is trained to evaluate safety concerns at EVERY SCENE before beginning their investigation. This helps ensure that the professional you hire for your investigation is conscientious and safe. The last thing you need is the complication of worrying about the safety of outside contractors.
  • EVIDENCE COLLECTION AND STORAGE
    • Knowing when and how to collect evidence is only the beginning of the battle. Is your fire investigator documenting and storing evidence in compliance with standards such as ASTM E1459 and E1492? Our on-site storage facility and system are laid out to ensure your evidence is properly documented and available when the time comes.
  • BURN TESTING
    • It is one thing to claim what goes on in a fire… it’s quite another to know it. Whether it involves testing hypotheses of other experts, or the regular testing we do to enhance our training and familiarity with materials, Firensics is here to put the physical into forensic evidence.  
  • CODE RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS
    • The complexity of a fire investigation can rise quickly when one is dealing with code issues. It is often simple matters that lead to big complications. At times, the origin and cause of an incident may not be as important as are involved code requirements. Furthermore, an expert referencing the wrong code may take you down a dead-end road in your subrogation case. Our investigators are trained to consider code issues concurrently with their investigation and to apprise you of any code issues that may affect litigation or underwriting concerns.
  • EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY
    • Firensics experts are vetted for their ability to present their findings, and our reports are designed to show that. Due to our extensive experience in the industry, every process in our company is designed to support your claims process. We follow methods consistent with industry standards and we charge the same hourly rate no matter if we are on the scene or in the courtroom.
Firensics Team of Investigators--
Edward G. Roberts, IAAI-CFI, Director of Fire Investigation Services

As founder of Firensics, Inc., I combine my lifelong experience and training in fire investigations with the training I received as an adjuster to create an approach to fire investigation and report product that best serves your needs through quick response time, clarity, and ease of use. As a member of a number of professional organizations, I am actively and constantly working to improve the industry of fire investigation.

  • IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CVFI, CFII
  • 1500+ fire and explosion origin and cause investigations
  • Court-proven and reliable, including mediation, arbitration, and depositions
  • Published internationally
  • Obtain recorded statements
  • Provide educational programs to insurance and investigation communities
  • Founder and President of Firensics, Inc.
Kelly E. Johnson, IAAI-CFI, Senior Fire Consultant

Kelly has investigated or supervised more than 1,500 origin and cause investigations, including fires and explosions involving fatalities, as well as complex subrogation issues involving multi-million-dollar losses. His work has included first party insurance investigations, third party insurance defense work, plaintiff's work, consumer product liability cases, contractor liability, and file review. Investigations have included losses to residences, vehicles, commercial/industrial structures, and wild land fires. Kelly has actively participated in live burn training of more than 60 structures, more than 75 automobiles, and dozens of appliances. He has assisted with the coordination of structural test burns involving both hog and human cadavers for the purpose of post-fire and post-blast death investigations.

  • Holds multiple fire and explosion certifications, including IAAI-CFI
  • Serves as an examination proctor and tests his peers for certification
  • 20+ years of investigative training and experience
  • Is on the board of two Fire Investigator Associations
  • Past President of local claim’s association and fire investigator association
  • Permit-Required Confined Space Certified & Hazmat Certified
  • Trained in Wildland Fire Origin and Cause Determination
  • Court tested and reliable. Experienced in municipal, civil & criminal trials
  • Designated as an expert in fire investigation in Texas District Court
  • President of North Texas Fire Investigator’s Association (NTFIA)
Jeremy Clark, IAAI-CFI, Fire Consultant

Jeremy brings 9 years of investigative experience to Firensics, Inc., beginning his career as a police officer, advancing to investigator and fire investigator.  Since 2010, he has been responsible for the direct investigation and supervision of over 90 fires and explosions, including losses involving fatalities and complex investigations including multiple interested parties requiring precise execution of scene investigations & processing. In 2013 Jeremy obtained the coveted Certified Fraud Examiner’s Certificate from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and maintains that certification to date. To remain at the forefront of forensic science and investigative technology, he adds an average of 50 hours of specialized training bi-annually to the more than 600 hours of accumulated specialized forensic training. He is currently working to complete his (V) designation for the IAAI-CFI.Jeremy provides training to fellow peace officers and investigators throughout Texas. Jeremy has actively participated in the live burn testing of over half dozen structures, more than five automobiles, and numerous appliances.

  • IAAI-CFI with Pro-Board Certificate
  • Holds and Intermediate Fire and Explosion Investigator certification through Texas Commission on Fire Protection
  • Advanced Peace Officer Certificate through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • Over 14 years of public safety and fire investigation training / experience
  • Has provided testimony under oath in reference to origin and cause
  • Proven in court, in criminal cases.
  • Certified Fraud Examiner through Association of Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Educates Law Enforcement and Fire Department personnel in fire investigation tactics.
Richard Taylor, CFEI, Fire Consultant

Richard has personally investigated over 4,000 origin and cause investigations spanning 22 years of public service and 20 years of private fire investigations.  These assignments involved the crimes of arson, arson-murder, capital murder, burglary, theft and other organized crimes as a certified law enforcement officer.  His private investigative work included assignments for personal injury, death, subrogation, first party insurance, third party insurance defense work, plaintiff's work, consumer product liability, contractor liability, and file review.  His technical/vocational training provided advanced college level training in heat transfer, metallurgy, welding, hydraulics, fuel systems, mechanical and electrical theory and repair of both DC and AC circuits.  This training also included maintenance and repair of internal combustion and gas turbine engines which is a direct asset in consideration of failure modes or operation issues resulting in a fire or explosion. 

  • Qualified as an expert witness in Texas District Courts
  • Qualified as an expert witness in Federal Courts of the United States
  • 42years of public safety/investigative training and experience
  • Certified mixed blood tribal member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • College level training in electrical and mechanical criteria that can be directly applied to fire cause and failure analysis

Any opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Haag Engineering, Haag Education, or parent company, Haag Global, Inc.