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In an unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal found no prejudicial error in the introduction of evidence of a four year old arson to the insured’s vehicle in an insured’s trial for arson and insurance fraud involving his business.

People v. Valerio (Second District Court of Appeal of California, February 23, 2016, Unpublished) 2016 WL 720988

Valerio’s business was having financial difficulty. Six weeks after taking out a business insurance policy, a fire occurred. The investigation revealed gasoline and road flares were used to start the fire. Four years earlier, Valerio had presented an insurance claim for arson to his vehicle which also involved the use of gasoline and road flares. (The claim was paid and no criminal charges were brought.) Valerio was convicted of arson and insurance fraud, based in part on this prior act evidence. On appeal, he claimed the introduction of the prior arson was prejudicial. The appellate court affirmed, concluding that the evidence of the prior fire was not inadmissible, because “other act” evidence may be admitted when relevant to prove some other material fact, including intent, knowledge, identity, motive, or the existence of a common design or plan.

To view the opinion, click HERE.

John D. DeHaan, Ph.D., FABC, FFSSoc, MIFireE
November 2011

Introduction: 

In every country, particularly in highly industrialized ones, fire kills a significant percentage of people. In the U.S., it is one of the five leading causes of accidental death with about 3,500 fire deaths reported per year (12 per million population).1 In the UK, 451 fire-related deaths were reported in 2008 (7.1 deaths/1000 dwelling fires or 7.3 per million population).2 Scotland reported only 47 fire fatalities in 2010-11 and 59 for 2009-10.3 These figures are about half of what they were in the 1970’s. The involvement of the investigator or forensic specialist in fatal fires can come in any form, from any sector, and challenge one’s talents and knowledge to come to just and accurate conclusions. These cases require the highest degree of cooperation between the investigators who all have contributions to make towards a successful investigation. When deaths occur in a fire, the event becomes the focus of the press and the public as well as police, fire, insurance, and forensic professionals. When problems occur, they can have far-reaching consequences. 

 

From Out of the Abyss...

This week's article is from the March 1956 VOL II, No 3 issue of the California Conference of Arson Investigators newsletter.  It was written by George W. Lacy.

"What Constitutes Evidence", Analyzed Unusual Evidence for Scientific Identification. 

SUMMARY:

Eldorado National-Kansas (Eldorado) is recalling certain model year 2010-2015 Amerivan and Amerivan 10 vehicles manufactured September 1, 2009, to March 28, 2016 on Dodge and Chrysler minivan chassis. The crimp fastener on the fuel line assembly of the affected vehicles may not be fully crimped, allowing fuel to leak at the hose to fitting assembly.

Find the details at NHTSA

Description

This recall involves Rheem brand “Performance Platinum” electric water heaters in 40, 50 and 80 gallon capacities. The recalled water heaters are gray and have the “Performance Platinum” Rheem logo decal on the front above the thermostat control panel. The water heaters have a rating plate near the bottom of the unit with the model number, date of manufacture and serial number. Recalled water heaters have the following model number and have a serial number within the following ranges:

Model Number

Serial Number Ranges

Date Code

XE40M12EC55U0

A0114XXXXX to A5214XXXXX

M0114XXXXX to M5214XXXXX

Q0114XXXXX to Q5214XXXXX

 

A0515XXXXX

 

A1015XXXXX to A1615XXXXX

01Jan2014 – 21Dec2014

 

 

 

30Jan2015

 

03Mar2015  – 13Apr2015

XE50M12EC55U0

A0114XXXXX to A5214XXXXX

M0114XXXXX to M5214XXXXX

Q0114XXXXX to Q5214XXXXX

 

A0515XXXXX

 

A1015XXXXX to A1615XXXXX

01Jan2014 – 21Dec2014

 

 

 

30Jan2015

 

03Mar2015 – 13Apr2015

XE50T12EC55U0

A0114XXXXX to A5214XXXXX

M0114XXXXX to M5214XXXXX

Q0114XXXXX to Q5214XXXXX

1Jan2014 – 21Dec2014

XE80T12EC55U0

A0114XXXXX to A5214XXXXX

M0114XXXXX to M5214XXXXX

Q0114XXXXX to Q5214XXXXX

1Jan2014 – 21Dec2014

Get the full details at CPSC.

CCAI was recently contacted by CBS (San Francisco) News Investigative Reporter, Julie Watts, regarding fire retardant chemicals in child car seats, and was looking for footage of burning vehicles. We were happy to help.

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Car seats are the only consumer product that parents are legally required to purchase in every state, though they are also commonly used outside of the car as strollers seats, swing inserts and as a place for babies to sleep inside the home.

A recent KPIX investigation repeatedly uncovered concerning, even cancer-causing, chemicals in a majority of the car seats tested. Then, using biomonitoring, we linked high levels of cancer-causing flame retardants in a child’s body to the flame retardants in her car seat.

The alleged culprit: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 44-year old Federal Motor Vehicle Flammability Standard, FMVSS No. 302.

Click here for the video

Click on the link to see the full investigation.

Toxic Safety: Investigating Car Seat Chemicals

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Scotty Baker – Chairperson
Marnie Gedney – Committee Member
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Troy Morrison – Chairperson

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Terry McMahan – North
Vacant – South

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Tom Pierce – Committee Member

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Tom Fee

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Steve Huchting
Richard Knapp

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Tom Pierce – Chairperson

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Nathan Williams
Andy Derrick

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Tom Allen – Chairperson
Scotty Baker – Committee Member

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Troy Morrison – Chairperson

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Dale Feb – Chairperson

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Tom Pierce – Chairperson

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Scotty Baker

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Tom Pierce – Chairperson
Eric Emmanuele – Committee Member
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Marnie Gedney – Committee Member

SERGEANT AT ARMS
Frank Furtaw

SOCIAL NETWORKING
Robert Rullan – Chairperson

STATE CERTIFICATION
Joe Konefal

TECHNICAL PUBLICATION REVIEW
Dale Feb – Chairperson
Nick Corbo – Committee Member
John DeHaan – Committee Member
Steve Carman – Committee Member
Scotty Baker – Committee Member
Jim Nolt – Committee Member

TRAINING
Tom Fee – Chairperson
Tom Derby – Committee Member
Mike O'Brien – Committee Member
Jim Albers – Committee Member
Mike Whitney – Committee Member
Eric Emmanuele – Committee Member
Bill Kilpatrick – Committee Member

TRAINING
FUNDAMENTALS OF FIRE INVESTIGATION 
Joe Konefal
Jim Allen

 


 

ACCESSORIES

Kathryn Varner – Chairperson


Tom Fee – Committee Member


Tom Derby – Committee Member

 


 

AMBASSADOR AT LARGE

Tom Kuczynski – In Emeritus
Past President – 2000


Bob Eggleston – In Emeritus
Past President – 2004

 


 

APPELLATE REVIEW COMMITTEE

Joe Konefal – Chairperson


Wayne Tyson – Committee Member


Dave Hillman – Committee Member


Vern Canon – Committee Member

 


 

BUDGET/FINANCE

Tom Fee – Chairperson


Dennis Wilson – Committee Member


Samantha Peek – Committee Member


Robert Rullan – Committee Member

 


 

BUSINESS OFFICE

Tom Fee – Manager

 


 

BYLAWS/STANDARD OPERATING GUIDELINES

Mike O'Brien – Chairperson


Attorney Steve Huchting – Committee Member

 


 

CALIFORNIA FIRE CHIEFS LIAISON

Mike O'Brien

 


 

CFI CERTIFICATION 

Russ Bohse – Chairperson


Andy Derrick – Committee Member


Vern Canon – Committee Member


Dave Aoki – Committee Member


Laura Cygan – Committee Member


Joe Bomortino – Committee Member


Marty Firestein – Committee Member


Jim Brown – Committee Member


 

CFI CERTIFICATION - CONSULTANTS

Tom Fee


Eric Emmanuele

 


 

CHAPLAIN

Chaplain Randy Martin

 


 

ELECTIONS & NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE

Scotty Baker – Chairperson


Tom Derby – Committee Member

 


 

ETHICAL PRACTICES & GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE

Scotty Baker – Chairperson


Marnie Gedney – Committee Member


Frank Furtaw – Committee Member


Steve Straight – Committee Member

 


 

FIRE PREVENTION LIAISON

Terry McMahan – North


Vacant – South

 


 

GRANTS

Tom Pierce – Committee Member

 


 

IAAI LIAISON

Tom Fee

 


 

LEGAL CONSULTANTS

Steve Huchting


Richard Knapp

 


 

LEGISLATION/PUBLIC INFORMATION

Tom Pierce – Chairperson

 


 

LOCAL LIAISON

Nathan Williams


Andy Derrick

 


 

MARKETING & ADVERTISING

Tom Allen – Chairperson


Scotty Baker – Committee Member

 


 

MEMBERSHIP

Troy Morrison – Chairperson

 


 

OVERSIGHT

Dale Feb – Chairperson

 


 

PARLIAMENTARIAN

Tom Fee

 


 

PERSONNEL NEGOTIATIONS

Tom Pierce – Chairperson

 


 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Ralph Altizer


Scotty Baker

 


 

SCHOLARSHIPS

Tom Pierce – Chairperson


Eric Emmanuele – Committee Member


Tom Allen – Committee Member


Marnie Gedney – Committee Member

 


 

SERGEANT AT ARMS

Frank Furtaw

 


 

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Robert Rullan – Chairperson


 

STATE CERTIFICATION

Joe Konefal


 

TECHNICAL PUBLICATION REVIEW

Dale Feb – Chairperson

Nick Corbo – Committee Member

John DeHaan – Committee Member

Steve Carman – Committee Member

Scotty Baker – Committee Member

Jim Nolt – Committee Member

 


 

TRAINING

Tom Fee – Chairperson


Tom Derby – Committee Member


Mike O'Brien – Committee Member


Jim Albers – Committee Member


Mike Whitney – Committee Member


Eric Emmanuele – Committee Member


Bill Kilpatrick – Committee Member

 


 

TRAINING 

FUNDAMENTALS OF FIRE INVESTIGATION 

Jim Allen


Joe Konefal

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