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

Henry Stormer

Henry Stormer, IAAI-CFI (V), CFPS

National Division Manager, Fire Investigation

Henry 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 is a fire expert with 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. 

News

VERTEX Awarded ENR Mountain States Best Small Project of 2019 for SugarSquare

October 17, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be part of the ENR Mountain States 2019 Best Small Project winning team as the structural engineering consultant on the SugarSquare project in Downtown Denver, CO. Congratulations to Urban Villages, Semple Brown Design, P.C., Jordy Construction and IMEG Corp. (formerly MKK Engineers). SugarSquare is a four-story, 11,400-sq-ft building in Denver’s LoDo…

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VERTEX Acquires Compliance Environmental International, Inc. (CEI)

October 1, 2019

Michael Plainte, VERTEX, and Archie Barrett, CEI (October 2019) The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Compliance Environmental International, Inc. (CEI). The agreement was signed in the presence of senior leadership of both organizations including Archie Barrett, President and Owner of CEI; Jaron Frieden, Managing Director of VERTEX; Michael Plainte,…

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VERTEX's CEO Bill McConnell Featured in Civil + Structural Engineer Magazine

September 12, 2019

As VERTEX’s CEO, Bill McConnell, states, “Education has no finish line.” Bill has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a J.D. degree from the University of Denver, a M.S. degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. He also completed…

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VERTEX Wins 2019 WebAward

September 10, 2019

VERTEX is proud to be named the 2019 Best Environmental Website by Web Marketing Association. Now in its 17th year, the WebAward program is the longest running annual website award competition dedicated to naming the best websites in 96 industries while setting the standard of excellence for all website development. The WebAwards are recognized as the…

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VERTEX's Bill McConnell and Mark Degenaars to Present at Pearlman 2019

September 3, 2019

VERTEX’s Bill McConnell, CEO, and Mark Degenaars, Managing Director of Construction Services, are presenting at the 26th Annual Pearlman Conference in Woodinville, WA on September 5th, 2019. Bill will be presenting on “Privilege Issues in the Surety’s Initial Claim Investigation” and Mark will be presenting on “Thinking Outside the Box: Utilizing a Surety’s Own Account…

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Blog

National Fire Prevention Week 2019

October 10, 2019

Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has sponsored Fire Prevention Week which is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire. This year’s campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” which is aimed at educating people about the small…

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What is an Expert Witness and how can they help me?

March 5, 2019

With the continued growth in litigation over the past several years, VERTEX has seen a steady increase in expert consulting work to support our clients. VERTEX has been retained to act on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in regards to liability and damages. The main goal of expert consulting is to add value to the…

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Home Heating Safety & Fire Prevention Tips

December 19, 2018

Here in New England, the winter weather is in full swing. With the cold weather comes the threat of home fires from heating sources. According to the US Fire Administration (USFA): 890 people die in winter home fires each year. $2 billion in property loss occurs each year from winter home fires. Winter home fires…

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National Fire Prevention Week 2018

October 10, 2018

Each year, at the beginning of October, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sponsors Fire Prevention Week; a campaign to raise awareness around fire safety and prevention. This year’s focus is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” which is aimed at educating people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood…

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Firework Safety Tips

July 3, 2018

Fireworks are synonymous with the celebration of Independence Day. It’s almost impossible to make it through the holiday without seeing some kind of fireworks display. But, even small fireworks can cause serious damage. Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few…

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