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Andrew T. Tinsley, MS, EI, CFEI
Eastern Kentucky University, USA
Michael Whaley, Criminal Investigator Tennessee Department of Agriculture, USA
David J. Icove, Ph.D., PE, CFEI University of Tennessee - Knoxville, USA


The investigation of hay fires has long been a challenge for the fire service.  Fires of this type are notoriously difficult to extinguish and usually require allowing the fire to run out of fuel (or the use of heavy equipment and large volumes of water).  Inherently, this creates a “black hole” for fire investigators as they are often left with little more than witness statements to base their conclusions on.  As a result, many hay fires are attributed to spontaneous combustion for lack of a better explanation.  One of the traditional indicators of spontaneous combustion that fire investigators have relied upon in the past is the formation and/or presence of hay clinkers.  Several reliable sources indicate the formation of hay clinkers is an event which is mutually exclusive to spontaneous combustion.  After a string of suspicious cases in which hay clinkers were discovered, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Criminal Investigation Division conducted a series of field tests.  The results of these field tests indicate that hay clinker production is possible with an external ignition source and should not be utilized as an indicator of fire cause.

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This recall involves Homelite 12 amp electric blower vacuums with model numbers UT42120, UT42120A and UT42121. Model numbers are located on a label on the left side of the red motor housing. The blower vacuums are red and black. “Homelite BlowerVac 2 Speed Powerful 220 MPH” is printed on the side of the motor housing and on the black plastic blower tube.

See full details at CPSC


This recall involves Expert Gardener 12 amp electric blower vacuums with model numbers 20254EG, 20254EGA, 20254EGB, 20254EGBC, 20254EGC and 21254EG. Model numbers are located on a label on the left side of the motor housing. The blower vacuums are green and black. “Expert Gardener” and “Blower Vac 2 Speed Quiet 150 MPH Powerful 220 MPH” are printed on the side of the green motor housing and on the black plastic blower tube.

See full details at CPSC

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.



The Court has had under advisement Plaintiff Barbara A. Sloan’s (“Sloan”) Rule 60 Motion.  Having read and considered the briefing and having heard oral argument, the Court issues the following ruling.

Ruling Document 


This recall involves four types of DD branded single-wick candles: Mason jars in 5- and 12- ounce sizes, decorative jars in 10- and 20-ounce sizes, 13-ounce coffee tins and 13-ounce jars with a holiday theme. The candles were sold in a variety of fragrances and colors.

The 5-ounce Mason jars are 2.25 inches wide by 3.75 inches high. The 12-ounce Mason jars are 3 inches wide by 5 inches high. The jars have gray metal lids. The DD logo and the word Handcrafted are in raised letters on the front of the jars. The candle fragrance and size are printed on a hang tang attached to the mouth of the jars.

The 10-ounce decorative jars are 4 inches wide by 3 inches high. The 20-ounce decorative jars are 5 inches wide by 4 inches high and hold a candle. The jars have gray metal lids with the DD logo in raised letters on the top. The candle fragrance and size are printed on a rectangular label on the front of the jar.

The 13-ounce coffee tins are 3.5 inches wide by 4 inches high and have a silver metal lid. The candle size and fragrance are printed on a label that wraps around the outside of the tin.

The 13-ounce holiday candle jars are 3.75 inches wide by 4 inches high and have silver metal lids with the DD logo in raised letters on the top.  The DD logo inside a floral wreath, the fragrance and size are printed directly onto the front of the jar in silver.

See the full details at CPSC

President's Message

Eric Emmanuele, President CCAI 2015


I would like to welcome you to the California Conference of Arson Investigators (CCAI) website.  CCAI is a group of dedicated, hard-working and talented individuals devoted to the quality education of those responsible for investigating the cause of fires and the prosecution of arson.  Our membership consists of investigative professionals from both the public and private sectors: fire, police, insurance industry, law offices, utility companies, educators and engineering firms.  Regardless of our employer, we share the common goal of the accurate determination of the origin and cause of a fire and the fight against those who set them.

I have two goals I would love to accomplish during my term as President (2015-2016):

  1. Increase our membership numbers
  2. Increase the quality training opportunities available to our members


As I see it, these two goals are accomplished hand-in-hand, and with your assistance, completely reachable.  Our membership will grow as our training product expands. Over the past two years, we have made some major changes to our Roundtable program.  We have expanded our Roundtable locations to 18 and each coordinator has committed to four local training opportunities each year.  Each of the trainings provided comply with NFPA 921 and will help get you/keep you compliant with NFPA 1033.

I encourage you to take a look at our new Roundtable format.  We now list all scheduled Roundtable training opportunities statewide with one click on the Upcoming RT Training tab. You are welcome to attend any Roundtable anywhere in the state.  Are you receiving emails from your local training coordinator?  Email any one of them from the Roundtable Coordinator tab and ask them to add you to their list.  Looking for a specific training topic?  Want to host a training day locally?  E-mail your coordinator.

Please reach out to your colleagues and share with them the benefits of being a member of CCAI.  Include those you know in the fire service, law enforcement, insurance industry and any others that would benefit from a quality, multi-disciplinary fire investigation training.  If you have any ideas on how we may better serve our membership, or increase our membership numbers, please share them with us.

Stay safe out there,




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