Courtesy of FLETC
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FLETC Instructor and Fire Investigations Subject-Matter-Expert Doug Leahey carefully lights gasoline-soaked shop rags to create an arson scene in a furniture refinishing business.

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers’ (FLETC) Forensics and Special Investigative Skills Branch of the Investigative Operations Division (IOD) and the Facilities Management Division (FMD) have just produced FLETC’s own fire-scene investigation training venue in Glynco, Georgia. In fact, the Glynn County Fire Department, with assistance from the onsite Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Academy staff, conducted a controlled burn for the training on Nov. 4 of the new training venue.

The FLETC used an excess trailer that was no longer needed, and moved it to the area behind the Danis City training venue’s residential neighborhood. Gabrielle Orzel, FLETC FMD Project Manager, designed and constructed two rooms inside the trailer; both rooms were reinforced on the floors and ceilings to ensure the fire would not compromise the structural integrity of the trailer. Then, the two rooms were outfitted with furniture and supplies to resemble an accountant’s office in one room, and a furniture refinishing business on the other.

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FLETC Instructor Leahey lowers a road flare attached to a three-foot staff to ignite the accelerant poured onto the rug of this accountant’s office.

The new training venue’s creation was in response to the training needs of the Crime Scene Investigators Training Program, which is currently in its pilot iteration. FLETC built a new block of instruction to train the students to process the unique and challenging arson crime scenes. This skill set can only be effectively trained with realistic, hands-on scenarios. As such, FLETC needed to create a fire scene where students could process to collect fire debris evidence. With limited resources and time, FLETC training and support divisions collaborated to engineer a solution. Through a unified effort, FLETC now has a venue that substantially improves their ability to instruct this vital curriculum.

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