top of page


APRIL 7-12 2024


Understanding CSST and Lightning: ATF LODD Analysis Utilizing Fire Dynamics Simulator, Fire Testing and Electronic Data Sources

Monday, April 8, 2024 (1:00pm - 5:00pm) Celebrity 1-8 (excluding 5)

This presentation, instructed by ATF Engineers, ATF Special Agents and local investigators will detail two recent firefighter Line of Duty Death (LODD) investigative case studies to review potential failure modes of Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST), forensic investigative techniques, and several firefighting tactical considerations that resulted from the analysis. ATF provided technical assistance to the Howard County Maryland Office of the Fire Marshal at the scene of a large residential fire located at 7005 Woodscape Drive on the morning of July 23, 2018. A fire occurred in an 8,400 square foot single family residence that resulted in the LODD of Firefighter Nathan Flynn after the floor collapsed into the burning crawl space below. ATF personnel utilized engineering analysis methods including field fire testing, large-scale laboratory fire testing, advanced computer fire modeling and electronic data sources to assist with determining the origin and cause of the fire, the route of fire spread throughout the structure and the events that led to the firefighter MAYDAY and LODD. A video timeline including computer fire modeling, fire testing and electronic data will be shared, along with the methodology used by investigators to generate this data. A fact-based comparison between the Woodscape Drive LODD and the Ball Road LODD incident three years later will be discussed. Both fires originated due to lightning-induced arc failure of CSST. The presentation will conclude with detailed review of the various types of CSST, modern methods of mitigating arc-induced hole formation, and a hands-on demonstration of arc-induced failure of CSST.


Adam St. John

Adam St. John has been employed by ATF for over 14 years, working as both an ATF Fire Protection Engineer and Special Agent. Adam is currently assigned as an ATF Special Agent in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to becoming a Special Agent, Adam spent nine years at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory and on the ATF National Response team, where he conducted full-scale fire testing, testified as an expert witness in criminal court and authored several peer-reviewed fire research papers. Adam, has responded to hundreds of large-scale fire investigation scenes across the country, including multiple firefighter Line of Duty Death Investigations and ATF National Response Team Callouts. Adam has instructed on behalf of ATF both nationally and internationally, and currently holds certification as an IAAI-CFI and licensed Professional Engineer in Fire Protection Engineering.


Craig Matthews

Craig Matthews has been employed with Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services for 23 years.  Craig had been assigned to fire suppression for approximately 10 years before being assigned to the Office of the Fire Marshal in 2011.  Craig has received numerous awards to include the Bronze Medal of Valor and Firefighter of the Year. Craig currently holds the rank of Fire Captain where he supervises the Fire Investigations Division.  Craig has also been an Accelerant Detection Canine handler since 2019.  Craig has investigated several hundred fires during his assignment to the Fire Investigations Division.  Craig has testified as an expert witness in multiple criminal cases. Craig has assisted in several firefighter Line of Duty Death Investigations in Maryland. Craig co-led the investigation into the Line of Duty Death of Lieutenant Nathan Flynn- 7005 Woodscape Drive. Craig is certified as an IAAI-CFI (V), IAAI-FIT, and IAAI-ECT.


Jeremy Neagle

Jeremy Neagle, P.E., CFPS, CT is an Electrical Engineer and Chief of the Engineering Section at the ATF Fire Research Laboratory located in Beltsville, MD.  Previously he served as a Chief Engineer for Intertek, a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) engaged in product evaluation and certification.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a member of a various professional organizations.  He has been a member of several national and international codes and standards development committees, including the NFPA National Electrical Code (NEC) Panel on Hazardous Locations (CMP-14).

bottom of page