I began my professional fire service career in 1981 as a firefighter with the San Diego Fire Department. In 1989 I was selected to be a member of San Diego's Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) and retired from the fire service in 2017 with 25 years of service in MAST and 36 years with SDFD.
In 1998 I became a licensed Private Investigator (PI#20635) and worked as a Certified Fire Investigator for a national firm prior to opening Fred Herrera Fire Investigations in 2006.
Ongoing training and education are crucial. I'm a Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) through the California State Fire Marshal (CFI I & CFI II), the California Conference of Arson Investigators (M-CFI), the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI-CFI), and the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (CFI).
I've published fire investigation articles in local, state, national, and international publications and authored a monthly Arson Investigation column in 1st Responder Newspaper. I've instructed fire investigation topics for police and fire academies, community college, insurance industry, Firehouse World Expo, as well as regional and state-level training for the California branch of the IAAI.
Over the last 29 years I have investigated thousands of fires but I stopped counting a long time ago. Experience is a very important aspect of fire investigations, but gaining experience goes well beyond responding to the scene. Successful investigators have to be current with investigative issues and use available technology and advances to make investigations more efficient and professional. The bottom line is this; an investigator must be able to deliver the goods when it's time to litigate.
I strive to provide professional origin & cause fire investigations along with great customer service for the client and the insured. All investigations are in compliance with NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator and NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations.