Pieces of the Puzzle: Preservation at Fire Scenes

Recently I was asked by my deputy chief if I could tell newly promoted officers one thing, what would it be? I quickly replied, “Protect and secure our scene.” Why? Because from day two as a fire investigator, I have taught, lectured and enlightened...


By taking the time to properly train recruit firefighters, update newly promoted company officers, and talking to the firefighters who are watching you process your scene, you will be able to instill good scene-preservation practices and in the end help you collect the evidence needed to prepare a thorough and complete fire investigation that you can stand behind in a court of law.

HUNTER L. HACKBARTH is a 21-year veteran of the fire service and a fire investigations captain with the Aurora, CO, Fire Department. Hackbarth has been a fire investigator since 2001 and is an International Association of Arson Investigators - Certified Fire Investigator and a State of Colorado Peace Officer. He can be reached at hhackbarth@hotmail.com.