Below is a listing of some of our past training events. This will be added to and enhanced as time allows.

October 2019, Dealing With Fire Investigations Involving Fatalities

“I had the opportunity to attend San Luis Obispo in June 2010 for a 40 hour Fatal Fire Investigations Seminar. This included the utilization of 13 flash frozen cadavers in 10 live burn scenarios.

This involved a variety of circumstances surrounding the individuals, some were traumatic circumstances and some were accidental fires. It was the most fascinating course I have ever taken. I would like to share my experiences with other Professional Investigators and help people understand the expected movements and behaviors of a body when it is subjected to heat. This will include a DVD of a live burn, case study and an exam to cover off material.”

– Ray Bryant


-Expected body reactions to heat / Blistering, limb and bone exposure to heat / Heating the body as a whole / DVD of a live burn
-Traumatic injuries / Injuries related to heat / Screening scenes and examining areas
-Case Study/ group interaction and case study/Exam

Speaker Biography:

• Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention and Fire Investigations Vancouver Fire Department.
• Member of Vancouver Fire department for 34 years.
• 20 years in suppression
• 10 years in the Investigation’s Division, 5 years as Captain of Investigations
• Investigated over 1000 fires
• Investigated 23 fatal fires
• Involved in a Provincial Inquest of a triple Fatality in December 2010.
• FPOA Level 1 and 2
• CFEI (Certified Fire Explosives Investigator NAFI)


When: On April 11th, 2019

Nanaimo Fire Rescue will be hosting a 4 hour seminar on Complex multi-Agency Fire Investigations. From 9:30AM until 2:00PM

RSVP to allan.millbank(at), only 40 seats available. $40 per person payment at the door. Credit is accepted.


666 Fitzwilliam Street, Nanaimo Fire Rescue Station 1

Public Parking is available at 299 Selby Street 1/2 block East of Fire Station 1.

The Speakers are Rich Pala Assistant Chief and Detective Sargent Bryan Rowan both of Saanich, BC. Both speakers are presenting at the IAAI ITC event in Jacksonville Florida.

This is unique opportunity for investigators on Vancouver Island.

Cost: $40


Bryan Rowan

D/Sgt Bryan ROWAN is currently in his 19th year of policing and has spent 12 years working in covert physical surveillance units and Major Crime Units.  Sgt ROWAN has covertly watched hundreds of criminals prepare for and commit crimes as well as interviewed and obtained confessions from convicted criminals, gaining special insight into the minds of criminals.   Sgt ROWAN has worked on and led many complex, high profile and successful criminal investigations including several arson investigations as the Primary Investigator or Team Commander in charge of the investigative team assigned to the case.

Rich Pala

Rich Pala has been with the Fire Service for 29 years and is currently the Chief Fire Prevention Officer and lead Fire Investigator with the Saanich Fire Department, as well as the Subject Matter Expert for the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Fire Investigation program. Major case assignments have included complex fire investigations, homicide/arson fires and explosions. Rich has presented at conferences and training seminars to Fire and Law Enforcement personnel at both the Municipal and Federal level as well as having presented internationally in the United Arab Emirates, Belize, El Salvador and Saudi Arabia. Rich has participated on Advisory Boards for both the Office of the Fire Commissioner (BC) and the Justice Institute for curriculum development and qualifications standards for Fire Investigators.

​In addition to reviewing case files in support of litigation, Rich has also provided expert witness testimony at both the Provincial and Supreme Court (of Canada) levels.


I’ve Lost My Moral Compass: A Case Study of an Interagency Investigation into Two Complex Arsons

This case study highlights the methodology and application of the investigative process used by both the Fire and Police Investigators on two separate but related arson fires that occurred in 2016.  A chemical fire set in a big box Home improvement store during business hours and a 3 storey townhouse under construction set at night that spread to an occupied townhouse. The audience will follow the investigative process and get a behind the scenes look at the work their counter-agencies perform in these complex investigations.  This presentation will showcase the need for and benefit of inter-agency cooperation.

The narrative, delivered by the Lead Fire Investigator and Police Detective will be augmented with video taken by witnesses and will include a video re-enactment provided by the arsonist. The audience will get a rare insight into the mindset of the arsonist through the re-enactment where he talks of motive, means and opportunity in his fire sets.

This case will reinforce the use of the Scientific Method as outlined in NFPA 921 Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigations detailing the process used by the Fire Investigators in their origin and cause investigation as well the multi-faceted criminal investigation resulting in the arsonist’s conviction.

Planning involved for a complex investigation including inter-agency briefings

Topics to be discussed:

  • Safety hazards encountered and control measures employed.
  • Documentation and information gathering/sharing.
  • What does an undertermined cause mean and how is that of value to the Police.
  • Police surveillance techniques and hold-back information, what does the fire investigator need to know to do his/her job effectively.
  • The ‘confession, re-enactment and sentencing.

FEBRUARY 2019 Training:

Hands Across the Border

Date and Time: February 22, 2019 | 10:00AM to 3:00PM                             

Presented by WA and BC Chapters of the IAAI

  • Cost $25.00 USD | includes lunch
  • Payment at the door
  • Doors open 9:30 AM

Location: Bellingham Golf and Country Club— 3729 Meridian St.     Bellingham, WA 98225

Class: Applied Visual Analytics for Fire Investigations

It has been found that most humans, in processing information, do better seeing connections in information when that information is presented in a visual format. When most investigators think of visual analytics they think of massive computers, wall size screens and table tops that enable to investigators to move displays of data around at the touch of a finger. While that technology does exist, for most of us it is way beyond our departmental budgets.

This does not mean we cannot use some of these concepts to our advantage. This class will introduce to the investigator some low tech (cheap) tools that are useful, easy to use, and effective. The class does include some hands on exercises. Attendees are encouraged to bring case outlines for use in class.

Instructor: Dale Zlock: National Insurance Crime Bureau


Mr. Zlock has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Management and is a Certified Criminal Analyst, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Fire Investigator (IFSAC-WA).

Mr. Zlock is currently a Special Agent with the National Insurance Crime Bureau focusing on multi-carrier / multi-claim organized ring investigations that impact the insurance industry as a whole. Mr. Zlock has 30 years organized crime and financial crime investigative experience in both law enforcement and corporate environments, including supervisory and management positions. Mr. Zlock’s involvement in visual analytics began 20 years ago when assigned to set up the Criminal Intelligence Unit for the Washington State Gambling Commission. His involvement continued as the Chief Analyst of the Strategic and Tactical Information Department of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In this position Mr. Zlock was responsible for the implementation of NICap (National Insurance Crime Analysis Program). This included the integration of visual analytics software to operate over the top of existing legacy data and redesigning the case management system to be compatible with the analytical software.

Have an interesting/pertinent/public case to share?  Contact me and we will try and allow some time.

Mark Yaple  509-470-5704

2017 Annual Fire and Explosion Investigation Training Session

We are proud to have provided some great training at the 2017 Annual Training Session last year in Chilliwack, BC. The event offered hands on training that gives the investigator insight into the latest methods of fire investigation. Click here to view the details of last year’s event!

Thanks to our Sponsors for providing 10 furnished burn cells!

Hands Across the Border “HAB” Langley, BC – February 19, 2016 “Fire Scene Safety and Beyond / Large Loss Fire Investigations”

Two Members from the Washington State Chapter who are experienced and well known fire investigators presented two separate fire investigation topics. Mr. Rice is a Certified Fire Investigator (IAAI), Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (NAFI) and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator (NAFI). He has an extensive background in criminal and civil matters including fire origin and cause investigations and building inspections and plan reviews regarding fire & life safety evaluations, and fire code enforcement (ICC; NFPA). He has over 16 years of municipal government experience in fire investigation, law enforcement, risk management, and loss control. 

Prior to joining CASE Forensics, Mr. Rice served in the public sector; most recently as Fire Marshal for the Sun City Fire District where he became the first Certified Fire Marshal in the state of Arizona. As Fire Marshal, he was responsible for the administration of the Sun City Building Department where his duties included code administration, enforcement, and inspections. 

Mr. Rice has received specialized training in fire origin and cause determination, electrical fire investigation, vehicle fire investigation, evidence collection, fire science; behavior, dynamics, and chemistry, flammability/combustibility of liquids, interviews and interrogations, and courtroom testimony. Mr. Rice is knowledgeable about standard practices regarding fire scene excavation, evidence collection and chain of custody (NFPA 921). 

 Mr. Way is a CASE Forensics Principal and Registered Professional Electrical Engineer in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Nevada. He is recognized as a Certified Fire Investigator by the International Association of Arson Investigators and is a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and has performed over a thousand investigations. Mr. Way has performed extensive fire ignition and ignition sequence testing. 

He has extensive experience in both electrical and mechanical engineering, design, and failure analysis. His casework experience includes product failure analysis, residential, commercial, marine and industrial fire and explosion investigations, heavy equipment accidents and failures, electrocution and electric shock investigations, and appliance fire and failure investigations. 

Mr. Way has experience with hydroelectric, gas turbine driven and, combined cycle power plants; electrical substations, including transformer and switchgear equipment; petrochemical plants and pipelines; waste water treatment plants; potable water pumping systems; heavy manufacturing plants; and heavy construction. 

While employed at a major refinery, Mr. Way participated in a refinery training program and became proficient in design, repair, and troubleshooting of refinery process equipment including piping system design and analysis, heat exchanger design and repair, pump design and flow analysis, and valve design and repair. He is well versed in material selection for strength and corrosion resistance, mechanical design, failure analysis, and pressure drop studies. 

In addition, Mr. Way conducts soil resistivity testing, grounding system analysis and design, and ground system testing. He is also experienced in project management, design engineering, technical analysis, bid analysis, and preparation of equipment procurement specifications. 

Before pursuing an engineering career, Mr. Way worked as an appliance and furnace repair technician for his family’s business in Fremont, Nebraska. As a result of this background he is experienced with proper operation and repair of large appliances including clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers and furnaces. Mr. Way has performed many forensics investigations involving large and small, household and commercial appliances. 

Sept 22 – Sept 25, 2015 – “BCIAAI Annual Training Conference” – RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre


This years training conference will be held in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia from September 22-25th, and will be co-located at the RCMP Pacific Region Traiing Center, and a live burn site location to be supported by assistance from staff with the City of Chilliwack Fire Department.

This training program includes hands on participation in fire scene investigations at several staged fire scenes as well as attending lectures at the Pacific Regional Training Centre. Hosted by the IAAIChapter 15 executive, this 4-day training program, based on NFPA 921 – Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, addresses the technical and scientific knowledge and skills needed to conduct successful fire/arson investigations. The format for delivery will be two session blocks delivered in the morning, followed by two afternoon session blocks. Two evening lecture sessions will be provided with keynote speakers.

Using a combination of classroom and practical exercises, successful methods will be demonstrated for conducting science-based fire investigations. Upon completion of this program, participants will be prepared to complete the International Association of Arson Investigators Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI-FIT) examination. Additional mandatory and 18 months of experience is required in addition to the 30 hours of tested training provided in this program. More details are available at:

Subjects covered include:

NFPA 921 and the Scientific Method,
NFPA 1033 for Fire and Police,
Fire Scene Safety and Hazard Assessment,
Documenting the Fire Scene,
Origin and Cause determination,
Fire Dynamics & Ventilation,
Fatal Fires,
Clandetine Lab Fires,
Fire Scene Photography,
Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction,
Electronic Data for Fire Investigators,
Basics of Interviewing,
Electrical Arc Mapping,
Multiple Party Investigations,
Preparing your case, and
Criminal and Civil case studies.
The curriculum is designed to meet or exceed the applicable sections of NFPA 1033 -Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator and is intended for public Fire and Police investigators, Safety authorities, private investigators, and insurance personnel.

The overall program will build on the recent Chapter 15 IAAI seminars including photography, evidence collection, legal aspects of NFPA 921, and case management with multiple parties. Hands-on training will involve investigation teams working a previously burned scenario and presenting their results to the group. The burn scenarios will be based on real criminal and accidental fire causes in new and old construction.
A multiple choice examination will follow the course. All persons enrolled are required to participate in the hands-on investigations portion of this program.

Required by the International IAAI, participants intending to apply for the FIT designation are required to complete the following mandatory courses from CFITrainer.Net;

(1) Documenting the Event (4 hours),
(2) Ethics and the Fire Investigator (3 hours),
(3) NFPA 1033 and Your Career (2 Hours),
(4) The Practical Application of the Relationship Between NFPA 1033 and NFPA 921  (2 hrs), and
(5) The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation (3 hours).

 The PRTC lecture program will incorporate each of these subjects into the serries of lectures provided by various qualified presenters.

Other benefits of the training symposium include,  barracks style on site accomodations at the PRTCas well as an available supplied meal plans and social pub nights for networking with your peers.  Offsite accomodations are available and may be secured by participanst at several nearby hotels. Course registration is only available in advance and seats are limited to a maximum of 60 attendees. Please complete your ONLINE registration online as soon as possible in order to confirm a seat on this course. Memberships with BCIAAI Chapter 15 can be obtained at a cost of $30 per year. The course rate for BCIAAI members is  lower compared to the rate charged to non-members.


Chris Reed, Steve Baker, Timothy Lee, Michael Lejeune, Derek Sheppard, Kevin Hamilton, Al Smith

Location: RCMP Pacific Region Training Center, 1100-45337 Calais Crescent, Chillkiwack, BC.

Dates: Tuesday September 22 to Friday September 25th, 2015

$495 for BC Chapter 15 IAAI Members or $550 for non-members. Your own copy of NFPA 921 (2014 Edition) is available for an additional fee of $115.00.

Hands Across the Border “HAB” Blain, Washington at the Silver Reef Casino – February 27, 2015

Presented jointly by the WA Chapter IAAI and the BC Chapter IAAI: 

Mr. Steve Grimaldi, British Columbia Forest Service Senior Protection Officer will be providing a two hour presentation on Wildland Fire Investigation. In the afternoon, Mr. Mike Lejeune will be providing a two hour presentation on using Electronic Data when conducting fire investigations. For the past 15 years Steve Grimaldi has been the provincial lead for wildfire investigation in BC.   Steve was appointed Co-Chair by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC) for Wildfire Investigation training in Canada.  Steve also participates internationally as a member of NWCG International Wildfire Investigation Working Team, working alongside with the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Steve has been an integral part of the international training program, instructing wildfire investigation to other partners in South Korea, Italy and the US.  Steve retired from the Public Service in 2014 as a Special Provincial Constable within the Ministry of Forests & Lands.  In this role he has worked closely with the Compliance & Enforcement Branch as a Special Investigation Unit member, the RCMP Forest Crimes Investigation Unit and the Conservation Officer Service. Steve has developed a number of surveillance systems and techniques which are now used by these agencies.  Along with surveillance systems work, Steve continues to use his geographic profiling training to work on crime analysis processes for investigating serial wildfire arson. 

Wildfire Investigation history:
•           Unites States and Canada

Basic methodology of conducting a wildfire investigation:
•           Fire vectors,
•           Fire indicators,
•           Wildfire science,
•           Wildfire Causes in Canada

Wildfire investigation scene processing:
•           Data collection,
•           Documentation,
•           GPS and GIS mapping

Michael Lejeune, P.Eng., CFEI, has been involved in forensic investigations of fires, explosions, and product failures for over 7 years. Mr. Lejeune holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and works out of Sereca’s Vancouver office. He is the team leader for the Vancouver forensic team and applies his diverse mechanical and fire investigation skillset to losses throughout Western Canada.

Electronic data is one form of discrete, non-subjective data that can be retrieved and evaluated from a variety of sources to supplement origin and cause investigations. In today’s modern electronic age, there are an increasing amount of tools available to the fire investigator to extract meaningful information from the range of security, fire alarm, video surveillance technology, personal electronics, and industrial automation. The information can be used for:

• Creating a timeline of human activities, alarm sequencing, and fire development.

• Identifying pathways of fire spread through a building.

• Determining or confirming reported occupant access and activities.

• Evaluating operation of fire protection systems and industrial processes.

• Quantifying environmental conditions leading up to the fire.

 This presentation provides an overview of the sources of electronic data, operating characteristics of these data collection systems, necessary steps to obtain available data, and how the information can be applied to origin & cause investigations.

November 6 – “Fire Investigation for Clandestine Labs and Marijuana Grow Ops” – Location Township of Langley Civic Centre – 9 am to 3 pm

This full day seminar included morning and afternoon presentations by three experts within the Province of British Columbia. Steve Baker, Chris Reed and Derel Westwick presented information on Clandestine Lab fires.

June 11, 2014 – “Fire Fatalities” – Location TBD – 10 am to 3 pm

This half day traiing session was  presented by BCIAAI Director / Captain of Fire Investigations for the City of Vancouver Ray Bryant. Ray shared a 4 hour presentation that was based on a course he attended in the United States that dealt specifically with documenting of fire scenes where a fire fatality has occured. Ray discussed his own experiences in dealing with fire fatalities as well as the best practices as outlined in NFPA 921.  

March 31 – April 4th 2014 – “Back to the Future / Back to Basics” – RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre

This was the largest and most intensive of our training events scheduled in 2014. This week long session was an opportunity for hands on digging through fire scenes that will be sure to interest both the seasoned and newer fire investigators. A variety of interesting topics were  presented by local fire origin and cause investigators with a diverse mix of law enforcement, fire service and insurance industry backgrounds.

All of the sessions are consistent with the NFPA 921 and 1033 approach to fire investigation methodology and fire investigator professional development, including the following aspects:

  • Allows participants to prepare for and achieve qualifications through the IAAI “Fire Investigation Technician” certification program;
  • Present the scientific method of fire investigation outlined in NFPA 921;
  • Explore best practices for conducting fire scene examinations with the goal of proper and complete documentation of the scene;
  • Develop a better understanding of fire dynamics and how ventilation affects fire development;
  • Tools and tips to assist in determining the area of fire origin;
  • Basics of arc mapping and preservation of electrcial evidence at fire scenes;
  • Effective critical thinking and analysis as it relates to fire cause determination;
  • Process and procedures for effective fire scene and evidence preservation;
  • Real life fire case studies from the criminal and civil courts;
  • Techniques for improving report writing and interview skills;  and
  • Small group participation in a live burn and fire investigation burn cubicle including presentation of findings.

The training conference was  held in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia from March 31 to April 4th, and was  co-located at the RCMP Pacific Region Traiing Center, and a live burn site hosted by the City of Chilliwack Fire Department. Intact Insurance made a large financial contribution to support the event and training for fire investigators.

February 21 – “Hands Across the Border” – Township of Langley Civic Center – 11 am to 3 pm


Location: Township of Langley Civic Building

Date: Feb 21, 2014

Title: Accidental  or Arson  with Fatality in a Vehicle Fire

Speakers: Mike Makela, Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office, Washington, USA.

Topics: Fatal Fire investigations, dealing with multiple agencies, vehicle fire investigations, analysis of data

# of attendees: 30

Documenting the Fire Scene 2013

Location: Township of Langley Civic Building

Date: June 13, 2012

Title: Documenting the Fire Scene

Speakers: Chris Reed, Jeffery Jackson, Timothy Lee, Terry Zweng

Topics: Digital photography for fire scenes, HDR photo techniques, collection, documentation and preservation of fire scene evidence

# of attendees: 62

Chilliwack Annual Training 2012

Location: RCMP Pacific Rim Training Center

Date: March 6-9, 2012

Title: From Call Out to Report

Speakers: Chris Reed, Dave Wood, Mike LeJeune, Adrian Ratte

Topics: The Scientific Method, Data Collection, Origin Determination, Cause Determination, Methodology and Preparing the Report

# of attendees: 64

Hands Across The Border 2012

Location: Township of Langley Council Chambers

Date: February 3, 2012

Title: From Call Out to Report

Speakers: Bill Hewett

Topics: Case Study Involving the Conviction of a Firefighter Arsonist

# of attendees: not reported

Fall Training Seminar 2006

Location: Burnaby Firefighters Club

Date: October 18, 2006

Title: Fire Investigation Training – Basic to Advanced

Speakers: Richard Lindsay

Topics: Providing expert evidence in both Civil and Criminal Courts of Law

# of attendees: not reported

Annual General Meeting 2003

Location: not reported

Date: May 7-9, 2003

Title: Investigating Arson for Profit – The Team Concept

Speakers: not reported

Topics: not reported

# of attendees: not reported

Fire Loss Seminar 2002

Location: The Sheraton Wall Center

Date: November 22, 2002

Title: Freedom of Information and Privacy Legislation: A Review and Practical Discussion

Speakers: Singleton Urquhart / I.A.A.I.

Topics: Case Study Involving the Conviction of a Firefighter Arsonist

# of attendees: not reported

Fall Training Seminar 2002

Location: Burnaby Firefighter’s Club

Date: October 24, 2002

Title: Product Failure Fires

Speakers: not reported

Topics: Product failure scenarios

# of attendees: not reported

Annual General Meeting 2002

Location: Lower Mainland

Date: April 3-5, 2002

Title: Investigating Arson for Profit – The Team Concept

Speakers: Dr. John DeHaan

Topics: not reported

# of attendees: not reported

Hands Across the Border 2002

Location: Pacific Inn Best western Resort, Surrey, BC

Date: February 20, 2002

Title: not reported

Speakers: not reported

Topics: not reported

# of attendees: not reported

Fall Training Seminar 2001

Location: Burnaby Firefighter’s Club

Date: September 19, 2001

Title: Juvenille Fire Setter’s Seminar

Speakers: Captain Terry Abrams North Vancouver FD , Cst. Sodi Dhillion Surrey RCMP, Mr. Don Morrison, Police Complaint Commissioner for BC.

Topics: Juvenille Fire Setters, Case Study of Two Juvenille Arsonists, Role of the Courts and the Youth Justice System

# of attendees: 35