Fire-Ex Forensics, Inc. is a private consultancy that offers its services to police, fire and prosecutive agencies, public defenders, and to private attorneys and insurers in cases where fires or explosions are involved. Both criminal and civil cases are accepted; however, the bulk of casework involves criminal investigations. Cases have been accepted from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Dr. John DeHaan is the president and sole professional consultant of Fire-Ex Forensics Inc. since its founding in 1998. In addition to casework, DeHaan presents lectures and teaches classes on topics of forensic investigation, reconstruction or laboratory analysis and evidence interpretation to an average of twenty different organizations per year.
With over 40 years’ experience in fire- and explosion-related forensic science, Dr. DeHaan has been involved in many national and international efforts to improve fire investigation. He has authored six editions of Kirk’s Fire Investigation since 1982. As the most widely used textbook in the field, it has promulgated the scientific investigation of fire and explosion events. That work, and its companion text Forensic Fire Scene Reconstruction (co-authored with Dr. David Icove in 2004), are frequently cited as authoritative sources to help disprove many of the misconceptions once relied upon in the discipline.
Dr. DeHaan has been active in research, having participated in all manner of fire tests from lab-scale to full-scale (building) fires and published the results widely in fire and forensic publications. (Several of the more frequently requested research papers are available on this website.) He has authored chapters on fire scene investigation in three other textbooks and on lab analysis in a fourth. (He was an active member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Investigation (921) from 1991 to 1999.)
He has been active in training through lectures and live burn demonstrations across the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland, and Western Europe. He is a 30-year member of the IAAI (and an honorary member of the U.K., New South Wales (Australia), and Eire (Ireland) Chapters of the IAAI), and is a member of the Forensic Science and Engineering Committees. He is a life member of the California Conference of Arson Investigators, and a member and past-president of the California Association of Criminalists (CAC). He received the CAC’s Achievement Award for his contributions to the discipline in 1994. He has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) since 1975 and is a past Chair of the Criminalistics Section of the AAFS. He was presented with the Section’s Paul Kirk Award for his contributions to Criminalistics in 2002. He was the first person to earn the Forensic Science Society’s Diploma in Fire Investigation (in 1993). He won the Society’s P. W. Allen Award for best published paper (1999) and was recently elected to be a Fellow of the Forensic Science Society.
He has been a member of the U.S. National Technical Working Group on Fires and Explosions (TWGFEX) since its inception in 1997 as a joint effort between the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the University of Central Florida. He served on its Training Committee (Fire Debris). TWGFEX has generated professional guidelines for both fire and explosion scene investigations and laboratory analysis. It sponsors the only major national conference on forensic fire and explosion investigations that include both field investigators and laboratory scientists.
Fire-Ex Forensics, Inc. maintains valuable professional affiliations with Gardiner Associates (U.K.), Malooly & Associates (U.S.), and J. W. Munday (Australia) to provide clients with access to a wide variety of top-level expertise around the world.
DeHaan was recently elected associate member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) and the Institute of Explosives Engineers (U.K)