Class full, closed-8th Annual Forensic Fire Death Investigations Course-

This course will be delivered in cooperation with the “Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State” (FACTS), Retired Eastern Kentucky University Professor Jim Pharr & the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office.

COVID-19 Measure for the “8th Annual Forensic Fire Death Class.”

This Forensic Fire Death Class is a cooperative effort with the Collin County Fire Investigators Association and the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS). FACTS has specific COVID-19 procedures in place, which can be viewed at: FACTS COVID-19 SOP

In addition to the FACTS COVID-19 measures, the Collin County Fire Investigators Association will require self-reporting information via a Google Form. The form will be filled out daily for seven days before the course. As a result, registration for the course will be cutoff on September 14, 2020. Cancellation: Participants who cannot attend the class due to COVID-19 or other reasons we will give credit for next year’s class. No cash refunds will be possible due to the expenses that occur for the delivery of this dynamic course.

Course Details

Course Costs: Pre-payment is required before a seat is guaranteed

The 2020 Fire Death Class is filled to capacity. Email to get on the class roster in 2021.

  • Closed
  • Closed-$620 – after July 1, 2020

2020 Fire Death Class Polo Shirt provided for free.

Payments are non-refundable after July 1st but they can be transferred to another employee or department with prior approval. Payments will only be accepted during registration if agreed in advance.

  • When: September 21 – September 25, 2020
  • Where – Classroom: Freeman Ranch
  • Live burn site: Location TBA
  • 2020’s Class will be in San Marcos, Texas

Accepting payment for the next Fire Death Class now, Contact:
Travis Green –
 Office: 972-886-4232 –


The 2020 Fire Death Class is waiting for approvals, for the fifth year in a row. Through the Texas Forest Service for Grant Tuition Reimbursement under HB2604.

For more information, please see the Texas Forest Service Grant Assistance Program website:

Target Audience

Fire Investigators, Law Enforcement professionals, Lawyers (Prosecution AND Defense), students, and professionals who may become involved in fire death investigations.

Course Description

Tied to the use of the Scientific Method, this dynamic course has been developed over the last eight years by the CCFAIA, in cooperation with the UNT Forensic Anthropology Lab, Sam Houston State University and now in cooperation with the “Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State” (FACTS). To date we’ve delivered this training to well over 400 students from Texas and 14 other States.

Unique course offering hands-on investigation techniques utilizing live-burn training aids used in as many as ten scenarios. Participants will gain considerable knowledge of how to approach a multiple-death fire scene.

Five days of dynamic instruction including classroom lessons, plus a live field burning demonstration and team-based investigations to build expert testimony skills related to fire deaths.

Fire investigators primarily train on post – fire investigative techniques. This is contrary to other forms of forensic science investigative training that suggest the use of observation, experimentation, and conclusion. This is critical to formulating a theory/hypothesis that is tied to the scientific method. Our goal is to incrementally change this type of training, with more realistic science based investigative training programs.

Class Resources

This is the conference hotel. Click the Homewood Icon below to be taken to this rate for hotel accommodations

Governmental agency members can call (512) 667-7011 and recieve a government rate for the class dates September 21 to September 25, 2020.

Homewood Suites
451 Barnes Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666

CCFIA Group (non-government) rate available.

Class Feedback

  • There are very few chances to investigate a fire in a controlled environment such as this. Also, I cannot overstate the value of actually using cadavers and the forensic aspect of the course.


  • I would definitely recommend this class to other investigators. This level of instruction is usually not available until it happens in the real world, which at that point, it is not the time for learning. The subject matter is relevant and advanced. This is truly an experience that most people have not yet to be able to be a part of and the knowledge gained is unmeasured.


  • The class was a great hands-on experience that helped give exposure to high profile crime in a controlled environment.

Mail your registration with check payable to Collin County Fire Investigator’s Association, Inc. to:
Travis Green – 
Collin County Fire Investigator’s Association, Inc.
500 State Highway 5 • Fairview, Texas 75069

Register in advance, through the website, by email to: or fax registration to (972) 516-6355. Call Steve Seddig at (214) 843-0669 for questions or problems with registration and or payments questions.

Please provide: Name, Organization, and cell phone contact information. You will receive a confirmation and be placed on the roster.

Your seat will not be guaranteed without prepayment in addition to the completed registration form and transcript.

Fee’s are Non-Refundable, However they are Transferable.

Certificates will be issued. Texas Commission on Fire Protection & Texas Commission on Law Enforcement CE is authorized. See your training officer.

Attention members of The American Board of Medicolegal Death investigators;

This course has been approved for 40 hours CEU by TCOLE which is accepted by ABMDI for continuing education credits.

Course Schedule

September 21 – September 25, 2020. Five days of classroom and field training for a total of 40 hours of training. Approximately 16 hours of hands on field investigation participation.

Several modules are required to be completed prior to the first day of class. A transcript must be included with your application or submitted on or before 8:00 am on September 21, 2020. courses are available online at There are no costs or membership requirements to access these modules, listed below.

  • Arc Mapping Basics

  • Managing Complex Fire Scene Investigations

  • Post flashover Fires

  • Process of Elimination

  • The Impact of Ventilation in Building Structures on Fire Development

  • Investigating Fatal Fires

Registration begins at 7:30am. Training begins promptly at 8:00am through 6:00pm on Monday September 21, 2020.

Day 1: September 21, 2020

Classroom: (Freeman Center)
  • 8:00-11:30AM “Introduction to Advanced Fire Death Investigation: Corpus Delicti” (John Cox, TX Ranger Drew Pilkington, Clint Williams)
  • 11:30-12:30PM Lunch (on your own)
  • 12:30-3:45 Fire Scene Reconstruction /Fire Patterns Inv. (James Pharr, EKU Associate Professor/Sgt. D. Vesely TXSFMO)
  • 4:00 -6:00 Introduction to Arc Mapping (Tommy Sing Jr., Quest Fire Analysis)

Day 2: September 22, 2020

Classroom: (Freeman Center)
  • 7:30-9:15 Fire Science/Chemistry Basics (James Pharr, EKU Associate Professor)
  • 9:30 – 10:00 Live Burn
  • 10:00-11:00 Fire Pre-Burn Scenario Walkthrough
  • 11:30-12:30 Bio Profile Training (Dr. Daniel Wescott, Professor and Director, FACTS)
  • 12:30-1:30 Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:00-3:50 Osteology & Burned Bone (Dr. Daniel Wescott, Professor and Director, FACTS)
  • 4:00-4:30 Camp Fire (Dr. Tim Gocha, Associate Director of FACTS)
  • 4:30-5:00 Data Collection PowerPoint Standard (Ray Nichols–Lecture)

Day 3: September 23, 2020

Classroom: (Freeman Center)
  • 8:00-10:50 Fire Dynamics (James Pharr, EKU Associate Professor)
  • 11:00-12:00 Forensic Fire Scene Drone Mapping (Wendell Geigle, Victoria Fire Dept.)
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch (On your own)
  • 1:00-3:20 Fire Patterns & Depth of Calcination/NFPA 1033 JPR’s (James Pharr, EKU Associate Professor)
  • 3:30-3:50 Review NFPA 921 Reconstruction/Excavation/Expectations (James Pharr, EKU Associate Professor)
  • 3:30-3:50 921 Docs Brief Report Writers Meeting (Greg Dreiss Seguin Fire Marshal)
  • 4:00-6:00 Safety Brief/Begin Field Fire Examinations (Seddig/Staff/Students)

Day 4: September 24, 2020

Field: (TBA)
  • 7:30-7:45 Safety Brief (ICS Safety Officer)
  • 7:45-12:00 Continue Field Exam (Students/Staff)
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-4:00 Complete Field Exam & Clean/Demobilize the training Area (Students/Staff)
  • 4:00-6:00 Preparations for class investigative case presentations (Students/Staff)

Day 5: September 25, 2020

Classroom: (Freeman Center)
  • 8:00-10:00 Class presentations
  • 10:00-10:30 Illustrate Discuss Captured Temperature Data (Thomas Tracy)
  • 11:30-12:30 “Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State” (FACTS)
  • 12:30-1:00 Lunch (On your own)
  • 1:00-3:00 Testifying as an Expert Witness (Ray Nichols, Attorney)
  • 3:00-4:00 Illustrate Live Fire Video Captured/Test Administration (Kelly Johnson, Firensics, Inc.)

If you would like to download a .pdf copy of our course brochure, click the download link, below.