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Who we are

Fire Investigation Services Ltd is a private company specialising in fire origin and cause investigations primarily for insurance companies, the legal community and other private parties. The principal Origin and Cause Investigator for Fire Investigation Services is Ken Legat.

Why choose us

Ken Legat is a fire investigation expert with over ten years in the insurance industry as a Fire Origin and Cause Investigator and over 33 years in the New Zealand Police.

Ken is qualified as both a structural and rural fire investigator.

Ken was employed by IAG New Zealand Ltd as a Fire Origin and Cause Investigator.

His primary role was to conduct Fire Origin and Cause investigations, to attend fire scenes at the request of the different claims teams within IAG New Zealand Limited, to identify and establish the origin and cause and origin of the fire.

Ken was the Fire Investigation Co-ordinator for the Canterbury CIB with the principal objectives being to co-ordinate, supervise or undertake investigations into major and serious fires.

As part of his role as the New Zealand Police Fire investigator he has attended, conducted or co-ordinated more than 250 fire or arson investigations in New Zealand, Samoa, Victoria and Tonga.

From January 2009 to September 2018, Ken has conducted over 500 further fire investigations or peer reviews on behalf of insurance companies, the legal community and other parties in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Ken has previously given expert evidence on fire investigation, origin and cause in the High Court, District Court and the Coroner's Court in New Zealand. He has also given expert opinion evidence in the Disputes Tribunal and in negotiation of civil cases on behalf of insurance companies in New Zealand.

What we do

Our primary role is to conduct fire origin and cause investigations on behalf of our clients, to attend fire scenes and to identify and establish the origin and cause of the fire and to provide a comprehensive report on the findings.

We also provide a complete and thorough fire investigation review service.

In addition to his fire investigation work, Ken Legat has experience in conducting training courses in fire investigation and preparing written training material.

Where we work

FIS will respond to requests for investigation and has the ability to travel within both New Zealand and overseas at short notice.

Overseas investigations

In November 2004, Ken lead the investigation team assisting the Samoan Police, Prison and Fire Service, regarding an investigation at a major fire in SV McKenzie’s warehouse in Fugalei, Samoa.

In November and December 2006, he was the Fire Investigation Co-ordinator for the New Zealand Police, assisting the Tongan Government and Police investigating the fires and arsons in Nuku’alofa, after the riots on 16 November.

Ken has conducted forensic fire investigations in Vunimono Fiji in November 2014 and again in July 2015 in Wailevu, Labasa, Fiji, a forensic fire investigation for a private client, in Lautoka, Fiji in July 2016 and in April 2018, two forensic fire investigations in Suva and Lautoka Fiji.



 

Professional membership

Ken Legat is a member of

  • New Zealand Association of Fire Investigators Inc. (NZAFI)
  • Institution of Fire Engineers. (IFE)
  • Victorian Association of Fire Investigators Inc. (VAFI)
  • International Association of Arson Investigators. (IAAI)
  • Ken is a holder of the IAAI (International Association of Arson Investigators) qualification Certified Fire Investigator (CFI)
  • Ken is Immediate Past President of Fire Investigators Association New Zealand Inc. (now NZAFI)

Network of experts related to fire investigations

Through an extensive network of contacts and associated fire investigation services we are able to obtain the best experts required for the scene investigation and analysis of evidence collected.

These typically include experts in the fields of chemical analysis, electrical componentary analysis and mechanical, electrical and structural engineers and are sourced from within New Zealand, Australia and America.

Court Presentation

Ken has previously given expert evidence on fire investigation, origin and cause in the High Court, District Court, and the Coroner's Court in New Zealand.

He has also given expert opinion evidence in the Disputes Tribunal and in negotiation of civil cases on behalf of insurance companies in New Zealand.

Ken is qualified as expert in:

  • Fire Investigation
  • Fire Scene Management
  • Fire Testing and Examination

Training and professional development

We provide training in the following areas:

  • Origin and cause
  • Investigation of fire scenes
  • Fire scene safety
  • Fire scene forensics

A fire or explosion investigation is a complex endeavour involving skill, technology, knowledge, and science.