Forensic Consulting Services

Only highly experienced professionals can perform the complex tasks of uncovering the origin and cause of a fire or explosion. By evaluating the circumstances surrounding what happened and why, VERTEX is able to provide our clients with the technical expertise needed for them to determine coverage in a timely manner, reduce claim costs, combat fraud, and ultimately achieve closure with a solid, court defensible understanding of events and outcomes.

Fire Origin & Cause

Using a full service approach and in a manner consistent with the Scientific Method and guidelines of NFPA 921, our NFPA 1033 qualified experts apply the highest level of professional competence in their investigative skills and techniques. VERTEX provides evidence collection, chain of custody as well as incident reporting, providing our customers with solid and reliable determination of origin and cause that will withstand the challenges of litigation.

Failure Analysis

Through scientific analysis, VERTEX can quickly and accurately determine whether the root cause of the fire or explosion was due to an electrical or mechanical component, human error, natural events, or arson.

Fire Investigation Liability, Subrogation & Litigation Support

VERTEX experts assist the insurance client and litigator by having highly trained and qualified professionals conduct site investigations that can determine the potential existence of third party culpability. VERTEX experts are experienced in reporting, depositions, and court testimony regarding fire and explosion incidents.

Vehicle and Marine Fire Loss Investigations

Our experts are available to not only investigate the origin and cause of structure fires, but also fires that have taken place in motor vehicles, trucks, industrial equipment and  marine vessels.

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Key Personnel

National Division Manager

Henry Stormer, IAAI-CFI

Henry Stormer, IAAI-CFI

Mr. Stormer is the National Division Manager for VERTEX’s Fire Investigation Division. His primary responsibilities include management of origin and cause investigations nationwide for the insurance industry as well as conducting Cause and Origin investigations of fire and explosions. Mr. Stormer has over 30 years of experience investigating fires and explosions both in the public and private sectors. His fields of expertise include: fire and explosion investigations, origin and cause, subrogation, failure analysis, evidence collection and preservation, fire code analysis and research, crime scene investigations, and arson investigations. Mr. Stormer is a Certified Fire Investigator through the International Association of Arson Investigators and the Connecticut State Fire Marshals Office.

Blog

Case Study: Foreign Object Fire Causation

July 24, 2017

A teenage child of a Massachusetts homeowner was doing a load of laundry during the evening hours of March 19, 2017. The clothes washing and drying appliances were located in the basement of the home and had been installed by a major appliance retailer approximately one year prior to the date of the fire. The…

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The State of the Economy - Where Are We Headed?

June 2, 2017

Over the first two quarters of 2017, we have witnessed some interesting trends. Year to date, the NASDAQ is up by 15.36% and the S&P500 is up by 8.81%. The NASDAQ growth has largely been fueled by high tech companies such as Apple and Amazon. Despite the robust equities market, the US gross domestic product…

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Understanding Residential Fire Claims - What are the Biggest Residential Fire Causes and Losses?

February 9, 2017

Fire claims to the insurance industry are costly and understanding the risk of fire is important. The United States Fire Administration functioning under the control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FEMA compiles statistical fire data annually.  This data, submitted by the nation’s fire departments, highlights the vast array of damage inflicted by fire…

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What does Higher Inflation, Interest Rates, and the Value of the US Dollar Mean to the Construction Industry Into 2017?

January 20, 2017

The construction industry booms in a growth economy with low inflation. This phenomenon is often short lived save for the past five years where the US has realized a perfect storm of low unemployment and low inflation. As a consequence of this rare economic backdrop, the construction industry expanded by 48% between 2012 and 2016…

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2016 State of the Construction & Surety Industry

August 15, 2016

VERTEX’s CEO, Bill McConnell, evaluates the state of the construction and surety industry. The U.S. economy is doing well by most measures. View Full Presentation

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