Robert J. Miller
IAAI-CFI®, CFEIView Full Profile
How do you investigate the origin, cause, and results of a high-rise fire when every system fails at once?
A fire on the 12th floor of a 37-story office building is dangerous enough. In this case, the evacuation procedure went wrong, the fire fighting procedure went wrong, the point of origin was compromised by multiple agencies working independently and there were multiple contradictory explanations for what had transpired.
There were six fatalities and several injuries to occupants trying to evacuate using a stairwell. The inevitable lawsuits began in an atmosphere of confusion and clashing agendas.
A well-renowned law firm, representing the building management company, called in S-E-A.
The primary task assigned to S-E-A was to determine the origin, cause and development of the fire.
S-E-A was also requested to ascertain the factors contributing to the death and injury of occupants within the building stairwell (i.e. fire alarm system, emergency evacuation communication, life safety issues, fire suppression systems, firefighting activities, building construction code compliance, etc).
During the early stages of the investigation, it was determined that among the numerous agencies investigating the fire, only S-E-A was capable of providing the necessary arrangements to handle, store and protect the large quantity of evidence that was expected to be retained. S-E-A therefore took on the responsibility to locate, identify, organize and preserve evidence after this fatal high-rise fire
To perform the analysis, S-E-A took the following steps:
Results of S-E-A's investigation:
S-E-A’s multi-disciplinary teams are a large part of the reason why we have been able to help so many clients. Our scientific methodologies cross all disciplines and our wealth of experience solving a wide range of problems is invaluable in assuring broad perspective and thinking unfettered by familiarity and repetition.
Above all, in situations where emotion and conflicting agendas make resolution so difficult, our passion for science and objectivity is the most effective path to real answers.
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IAAI-CFI®, CFEIView Full Profile
Mr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology from Eastern Kentucky University, with specialization in arson investigation. He is a Certified Fire Investigator through the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI-CFI®), and a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). He is a Certified Fire Investigator through the Missouri Department of Public Safety, and a Certified Fire Investigator through the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro-Board). He has conducted numerous large fire and explosion investigations for insurance companies, manufacturers, and law firms, as well as testifying as an expert witness in various jurisdictions. He served 10 years with the United States Coast Guard and Reserves, obtaining the position of Fire Marshal at his final duty station. In addition to being a Certified Fire Investigator, he is a Certified Hazardous Materials Technician and holds a 40-hour Supervisor Asbestos Certification. Mr. Miller specializes in complex fire and explosion losses.
Mr. Miller has a professional registered license in various states and is a member of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI-Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri Chapters), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Association of Fire Investigations (NAFI), the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII-Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri Chapters), the Fire Investigators Strike Force (Chicago, Illinois), the Western Loss Association (Chicago, Illinois), the Institute of Forensic Investigation, and the International Association of Marine Investigators, Inc. (IAMI).
11869 Dorsett Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
(314) 567-3638 (Phone)
(800) 473-9050 (Toll Free)