All posts by OKIAAI

27 Apr 2016

April 27, 2016

Arson Investigation Team Receives 2016 Investigators of the Year Award

Enid Fire Department Fire Marshal Ken Helms was present to accept the 2016 Investigators of the Year Award Tuesday from the International Association of Arson Investigators at their 2016 Annual Training Conference in Orlando, FL. The award was presented to Helms and Assistant Fire Marshals Kevin Winter, Bill Moss & Mike Schatz.

The team was previously awarded the Investigator of the Year honor by the Oklahoma Chapter of the IAAI in October of 2015, after the successful conviction of Martin R. Painter for setting a fire in the vacant structure located at 424 S. Grand on May 11, 2014. Painter is suspected of setting a number of similar fires from 2010 thru 2014. The IAAI-OK Chapter then passed the nomination up to the parent organization for their consideration.

The International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) is the largest professional organization of fire investigators in the world, providing training, certification and leadership to the profession. The IAAI has more than 8,700 members in 80 chapters worldwide who work in all aspects of the fire investigation profession, including the fire service, criminal justice system, legal profession, the insurance industry, and science engineering disciplines.

The IAAI is committed to accuracy in the fire origin and cause determination, and provides and supports training and professionalism under recognized standards and guidelines promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

“We are extremely honored to receive this award from such a highly respected group of professionals.” Helms said. “When your job description is “fire prevention” your success is often measured by a reduction in your failure rate. We don’t know when we’ve prevented a fire, we only know about those we failed to prevent. But, in this case we believe our efforts removed a serial arsonist from the community and are confident that additional fires have been prevented.”

03 Nov 2015

2015 Investigator of the Year

Congratulations to Enid Fire Department Investigators Bill Moss, Mike Shatz, Ken Helms and Kevin Winter

From 2010 through 2014 the Enid Fire Department had several suspicious fires. Specifically 17 fires that were under investigation or the cause was undetermined. One factor tied all of the fires together, that being the location of an individual named Martin Painter, who has had a previous Arson conviction. These fires were all in close proximity to Painter’s residence. In at least two of the fires, a suspect matching Painter’s description was observed at or near the scene. On May 11, 2014, EFD responded to a structure fire at 424 S Grand Ave, a building owned by the City of Enid. Ultimately EFD with assistance from ATF, determined the fire to be incendiary. The EFD investigators obtained surveillance camera footage and identified a individual in the area as none other than Martin Painter. EFD Investigators painstakingly created a timeline through separate video footage chronicling Painter’s movements during the time of the fire. Soon after, EFD/ATF interviewed Painter at his residence and were given contradictory statements regarding the fire. investigators obtained a state search warrant for Painter’s residence. Investigators found a newspaper in the residence. The headline of the newspaper was that of the aforementioned fire. Ultimately Painter was charged and arrested for arson. Painter pled guilty to Second Degree Arson and on January 13th, 2015, Painter was sentenced to twelve (12) years in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and further ordered to pay $121,030.00 in restitution. If it weren’t for the tireless efforts of the Enid Fire Department, Painter may very well still be setting fires today. The team approach taken by EFD resulted in a successful apprehension and conviction of a serial arsonist. Their selfless efforts and “one team” mentality exemplifies exactly what the Oklahoma Chapter of International Association of Arson Investigators stands for.