image image image image image image

From Out of the Abyss...

This week’s article from the past is titled Incendiary Fires Can Be Spotted and was written by Benjamin Horton, CPCU, who was President of the National Adjuster Traing School in Louisville, Kentucky..  It is taken from the Decembe 1968 Vol. XVI No.5 issue.

Incendiary Fires Can Be Spotted 

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.



What is Ethics?  There are many famous people throughout history who have commented on this topic.

~~“The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity.”  ~Zig Ziglar

 ~~“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”  ~Aristotle

 ~~“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”  ~C.S. Lewis  

FREMONT INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, and STEVE FOLEY and DIANE FOLEY, d/b/a RAINBOW CREEK FARMS, Appellants/Cross-Appellees, v. GRO-GREEN FARMS, INC., Defendant-Appellee/Cross-Appellant. No. 324075. Court of Appeals of Michigan. March 17, 2016

Before: K. F. KELLY, P.J., and FORT HOOD and BORRELLO, JJ.


Plaintiffs appeal as of right from orders of the trial court granting defendant's motion for summary disposition and motion in limine. On appeal, plaintiffs argue that the trial court erred in granting defendant's summary disposition on plaintiffs' tort claims on the basis of the economic loss doctrine, erred in granting defendant's motion for summary disposition on the basis that plaintiffs failed to provide defendant with reasonable notice pursuant to MCL 440.2607(3)(a), and erred in granting defendant's motion in limine and prohibiting evidence relating to "clinkers." Defendant cross appeals as of right, asserting alternative grounds for affirmance of its motion for summary disposition and motion in limine, and disputing the trial court's denial of its motion to amend its witness list. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

 You can access the full article in the members only section

Submitted by Larry Luckham San Rafael Fire Department

One evening around 6:15 PM a few months ago I received a page to a reported structure fire at an address I knew to be a hotel.  I responded and arrived several minutes after the first-in engine company had reported on scene.  Enroute I understood from radio traffic that the fire was extinguished by the building sprinkler system, and a second crew was securing the sprinkler system to shut off the water.

As I entered the building I was directed by a firefighter to the second floor elevator lobby where a crew was busy with dewatering. The Captain showed me where the fire had started, which was in a trash container closet just off the elevator lobby. The closet itself was bare except for two 40 gallon plastic trash cans with black plastic liners. There was no sign that there had been any fire at all. The white enamel walls were clean, without even smoke deposits.

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.

NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.


The Goal is Truth

By Paul Francois & Enrique Garcia
Third Degree Communications

When testifying in court as to the manner in which we conducted an interview, defense counsel will often ask us whether we just wanted his client to "confess." We answer that we do not seek confessions  but rather truth. After all, no good cop is interested in false information, only truthful information. That is why our motto at Third Degree Communications is "Nothing but the Truth."

One little tidbit we impart on our students to help convey this concept is by reminding them that if obtaining the truth is their ultimate goal, then they should be doing nothing that might prevent them from obtaining the truth. For example, getting angry with a subject who is lying would most likely sever rapport and interfere with accomplishing the goal of obtaining the truth. Raising my voice, insulting him, or speaking to him in a condescending manner are all most likely going to be rapport killers that will stymie my ability to get to a successful and truthful outcome with the subject. If we want to get people to provide us with truthful information, we should avoid doing anything that will interfere with accomplishing this goal.

This actually applies to many areas of our lives if we think about it. Let's say I've made a new year's resolution to avoid gossiping about other people. There are several steps I can and should consider that will help me accomplish this goal, including but not limited to:

  •  Avoiding certain people who I know thrive on gossip
  • Not asking certain questions that are more likely to lead to gossip, such as "Who did that?" "What are you guys talking about?" "What happened next?"
  • Excusing myself from conversations that turn in the direction of gossip

In the same manner, if my goal is to obtain truthful information, I must only engage in behavior that's more likely to help me accomplish this goal and to avoid behavior that will interfere: 

  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Manipulating my tone of voice to maximize my effectiveness
  • Establishing rapport
  • Being a compassionate, empathetic listener
  • Projecting an image of being non-judgmental and accepting


Getting people to tell the truth means creating an environment that is conducive to helping them cooperate. Obtaining our goal means everything that I say and do is oriented toward achieving that goal. It's a remarkably simple concept, but a critical one to remember throughout the interview.

Passing of Rob Van Wormer

The following article was submitted by Randy Martin, CCAI Chaplain.


As I arrived at the parking lot of the HP Pavillion in San Jose, I was greeted by a red sea of fire apparatus.  The San Jose Fire Department had provided two ladder trucks that were set up in the parking lot; ladders fully extended facing each other with a very large American flag hanging between them.  It was a spectacular site, and what an awesome tribute to Rob.  The flag hanging is this manner has always impressed me.

After arriving, I located the Chaplain that would be performing the service.  As it turned out, he was a Captain that had I worked with in Riverside, California.  It was good to see him again.

The procession that entered the parking lot was laden with fire apparatus and was followed by the limousines that carried the family.  The procession route was lined with fire personnel standing at attention and saluting as the fire engine, which carried the casket, made its way through the crowd.

The San Jose Fire Department had positioned two additional ladder trucks with their ladders fully extended, donning the American flag hanging between them inside the Pavillion.

The service opened with music and a warm welcome to everyone in attendance followed by prayer, guest speakers, the eulogy, and a message to the Fire Family, a Law Enforcement prayer and a song.  The Benediction was followed by the Fire Fighters prayer, the Last Alarm and the Riffle Volley.  Taps rang out from the bag pipes, which always gets to me.  In closing, they had the Flag Folding after which the pipes and drums played Amazing Grace and ended with the presentation of gifts for the Family.

Rob was only on this earth for 47 years; he left us way too soon! He will be missed dearly.

Fire Chaplain

Randy Martin

Remembering 9-11

September 11, 2001

Remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice
and those they left behind.

Outfitting Your Smartphone for Fire Investigations


Cathleen E. Corbitt-Dipierro

Stonehouse Media Incorporated


Smartphones are quickly taking over the US cellular phone hardware market — iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, Palm, just to name a few brands.  With their advanced computing capability, smartphones are enabling users to perform more and more tasks on their phone than just the simple calling and texting.  This computing power is harnessed by “apps,” which are application software programs used on smartphones.

For the fire investigator, the smartphone can become a handy tool in your daily work, but only if you know how to outfit it.  This article highlights some of the core apps that fire investigators can use every day to assist in managing their investigative and administrative work.  One caution before we begin: the investigator should be aware that any investigative information kept on your smartphone is not secure and also may be discoverable in a future legal proceeding.  For that reason, we’ve confined the discussion of apps in this article to those where case-based investigative information is not stored or shared.  At all times, exercise the utmost caution with investigative information.


Man sets fire to house drying shorts, socks in microwave

We’ve all had days when inclement weather, a busted clothes dryer or a fiendish combination of the two has us scrambling to dry our under-things for that hot date or big job interview. A man in Weymouth, Utah had probably thought he’d found the ideal solution when he thought to dry his two pairs of shorts and socks in his microwave. That is, until he had to be rescued from the fire in his apartment. Neighbors led him to safety after they heard a smoke alarm go off and firefighters quickly put out the fire. All clothing items were destroyed. "The fire safety message here is to never put clothing of any kind in the microwave or an oven to attempt to dry them," said a spokesperson for Dorset fire and rescue.

More Articles...

Page 12 of 17


Advertise Your Business Here!


CCAI Advertisers enjoy unprecedented exposure to professionals in the public and private sector with tens of thusands of targeted visitors each year looking to arson.org for critical information on the state of fire and arson investigation in the United States and worldwide!  

Banner ads should be formatted to 699 x 125 pixels, JPEG or animated GIF or Flash SWF, 100Kb or less. 

Annual advertising rates available.

Join CCAI Today!

Member Benefits:  

~Training in Fire/Arson
  Training Seminars
~Regional Roundtable
  Meetings held
  throughout the State
~Fire Investigative Resources
~Networking between public
  and private agencies:
       Fire, Police, Insurance,
       Private Investigators,
~Legal Updates
~Certification Development
~Annual Membership Card
~CCAI-CFI Program
~Field Training Exercises
~Videos on
   fire/arson investigations
~Members only area
~Attend Seminars at a
  greatly reduced rate!
~Weekly E-Newsletter
Last month October 2016 Next month
week 39 1
week 40 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
week 41 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
week 42 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
week 43 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
week 44 30 31
California Certified Fire Investigator





1279 North White Avenue 
Pomona, California 91768 
Phone:  (909) 865-5004
Fax (909) 865-5024 
8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Monday - Friday






This is the official website of the California Conference of Arson Investigators.

The information published on this website... more...