Firearms and Fire Cause
Thursday, April 27, 2023 (8:00am - 12:00pm) (Ballroom 1)
Anecdotally, firearms may be associated with fire cause with enough frequency that it is helpful for fire investigators to have a practical understanding of the ways a firearm may contribute to fire cause. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been involved in numerous fire investigations where the discharge of a firearm was believed to be associated with fire cause. These investigations include events ranging from fire and/or explosion incidents at shooting ranges to fires resulting from shooting homicides. As part of continued investigation of these incidents, ATF has conducted physical experimentation of the two main categories in which a firearm may contribute to fire cause: the muzzle flash and the projectile. Presentation information will include details of several actual fire/explosion events and a summary of existing testing and research that characterizes how firearms may be associated with fire cause.
Characterize anecdotal fire/explosion loss history where a firearm was associated with fire cause.
Understand ignition exposures due to firearm muzzle flash.
Understand ignition exposures due to firearm projectile.
Develop working knowledge of firearm related ignition testing results and their limitations.
Provide relevant information necessary to properly evaluate a possible link between firearms and fire cause
Andrew Cox is currently a Special Agent (SA) with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), where he has been employed for approximately 23 years. Andrew is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Fire Protection Engineering. Andrew is a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and is a Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) with ATF and the IAAI. Andrew is a member of the NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations Technical Committee and has lectured throughout the United States in topics related to fire investigation.
Sarah Decker joined the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2001 and serves as a Special Agent and Certified Fire Investigator (CFI). Sarah is on the ATF National Response Team traveling the country responding to large fire and explosion scenes. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Science from Oklahoma State University in Forensic Sciences, with a concentration in Arson, Explosives Firearms and Toolmarks Investigation. Sarah is a board member of the Kentucky Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators.
Brian Grove is an engineer at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory (ATF FRL) and has served in this capacity for the last 21 years. Mr. Grove has a Master of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the State of California. He provides technical and scientific assistance to ATF Special Agents, Certified Fire Investigators (CFI) and the ATF National Response Team (NRT) by applying analytical tools, computer models and testing in the area of fire dynamics.
Matthew Regentin is a Special Agent (SA) with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). He has served in this capacity for the past 21 years. Matthew has a bachelor’s degree (BA) in Foreign Affairs (Middle East regional focus) from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree (MS) in Forensic Sciences (Arson/Explosives focus) from Oklahoma State University. Matthew is a Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) with ATF and the IAAI, and he has conducted presentations throughout the United States on topics related to fire investigation and arson prosecution.