NFPA 921, Guide for Fire & Explosion Investigation (2011)

NFPA 1033, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator (2009)

NAS Report, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States, A Path Forward (2009)pdf

Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong, Brandon Garrett

Hewitt, Terry-Dawn and McKenna, Wayne J., A Perfect Storm Brewing for Fire Investigators in Court (March 3, 2014).
Available at SSRN: or

Arson and the Science of Fire by Ken Strutin


Suspicious Burn Pattern Analysis Attributed to Ignitable Liquids

Innocence Project Report of Arson Review Committee, Report on the Peer Review of Expert Testimony in the Cases of State of Texas v. Cameron Todd Willingham and State of Texas v. Ernest Ray Willis (2006)pdf

Report of the Texas Forensic Science Commission; Willingham/Willis Investigation (2011)pdf

Fire Pattern Analysis and Case Study Review in Post-Flashover Fires pdf

Frontline, Death by Fire

Changes in Determination of Arson

Another Arson Conviction Challenged, Jack Nicas – Boston Globe, (9/8/2010)

Fire and Innocence, Dave Mann – Texas Observer

Intentional Fires and Arson, John Hall – Fire Analysis and Research Div., National Fire Protection Assoc. (2007)


P. Kennedy, K. Kennedy, Flashover and Fire Analysis – A Discussion of the Practical Use of Flashover Analysis in Fire Investigationspdf

G. Gorbett, R. Hopkins,The Current Knowledge and Training Regarding Backdraft, Flashover, and Other Rapid Fire Progression Phenomenon (2007)pdf

Arson Review Committee, Report on the Peer Review of the Expert Testimony in the Case of State of Arizona v. Louis C. Taylorpdf

Negative Corpus

D. Smith, The Death of Negative Corpus, International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology (2012)pdf

D. Smith, The Pitfalls, Perils and Reasoning Fallacies of Determining the Fire Cause in the Absence of Proof: The Negative Corpus Methodology, International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology (2006)pdf

Area of Origin Determination in a Post-Flashover Fire

Bieber, P.; Forensic Fire Scene Examination – What it Tells Us, and What it Doesn’t
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, FORUM Magazine, July 2013

CFI Trainer learning module, Post Flashover Fires

S. Carman, Improving the Understanding of Post Flashover Fire Behavior; Progressive Burn Pattern Development in Post-Flashover Fires

Cognitive Bias Resources

Accelerant Detection K-9’s

Kurz ME, Schultz S, Griffith J, Broadus K, Sparks J, Dabdoub G, Brock J.  Effect of Background Interference on Accelerant Detection by Canines. J Forensic Sci 1996; 41(5):868-873pdf

Relevant cases:
U.S. v Myer
(finding the testimony of a dog handler inconsistent with NFPA 921)

U.S. v. Hebshie
(court finds the proper use of the k-9 is to assist in the location of evidence, not as a confirmation)

Jackson v. McQuiggin, (Eastern Dist. Michigan, Southern Div.2012) U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158773 / 2012 WL 5410993
(allowing testimony of dog handler in the absence of confirming lab results)

Fones v. State, 765 So.2d 849, 850 (Fla.App.2000)
(permitting testimony of accelerant detection despite absence of lab results)

Reisch v. State, 1993 WL 227264, *2, 1993 Del.Lexis 229 at *4-6 (1993)
(affirming admitting accelerant detection testimony in absence of lab tests paired with testimony that the dog was better than 50% reliable)

State v. Buller, 517 N.W.2d 711, 712-14 (Iowa 1994)
(requiring accuracy foundation be laid and making determination of admissibility subject to N.J.R.E. 403 balancing).

Hand-held Hydro-Carbon Detectors

Test of the TIF 8800 Combustible Gas Detector in a Post Flashover Environmentpdf