International Training Conference & Expo

Report Writing for Fire Investigators

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 (1:30pm – 5:00pm) (Ballroom 11)


The ​Report Writing for Fire Investigators​ class covers how to write clear, concise, factual, and objective fire investigation reports. It will specifically describe the components of a proper origin and cause report. The class will explain how the scientific method can assist you in locating and describing the fire’s origin and determining and documenting the root cause of a fire. It will also explain all of the necessary components of a complete fire investigation report, and will give specific examples of the correct words to use.

Learning Objectives:

  • To provide an organized and consistent format for fire investigation report writing.

  • To develop a comprehensive report that properly documents a fire scene and the supplemental investigation.

  • To describe the origin and cause of a fire that is consistent with NFPA 921 guidelines and practices.

  • To document the use of the scientific method and describe alternative hypotheses.

  • To identify various formats used to document scene findings, including photos and diagrams.


Robert Rappaport

Robert Rappaport is a Division Chief for the Redondo Beach Fire Department (CA), where he supervises the Investigation Unit. He has over 25 years in the fire service, 20 years as Investigator, and has investigated over 1,800 fires.  Chief Rappaport is a State Fire Marshal Instructor for fire and arson courses.  Moreover, he is a Certified Fire Investigator through IAAI, CCAI (CA), and NAFI.  He is experienced in the insurance investigation field and often works with fire agencies and attorneys as a consultant on fire/arson cases.  He has testified numerous times in both criminal and civil courts as an expert.