Fire Safety Forum-Final Report
- Since 2000, Ed Comeau has published Campus Firewatch, a
monthly newsletter that focuses on the complex issues of campus fire
safety. This ground-breaking newsletter has helped lead to an increased awareness of campus fire safety across the nation. This web site contains a wealth of material including videos, posters, an extensive compilation of campus-related incidents since 2000 displayed as an embeddable map and spreadsheet..
- Vision 20/20 A project of the Insitution of Fire Engineers since 2006, Ed serves as the communications director, responsible for web site, press releases and managing the social media aspects.
- Campus fire safety for students with disabilities, a project with the Michael H. Minger Foundation
- Resident Assistant Campus Fire Safety, a project with the Michael H. Minger Foundation
- 9 Fires Documentary, a project of the Michael H. Minger Foundation and Campus Firewatch
- International Association of Fire Fighters Juvenile Firesetter Database Project. A project to develop the framework for the creation of a national juvenile firesetter database.
- National Association of State Fire Marshals "Unknowns" project. A project to determine why a disproportionate number of fire investigations reports have "unknown" as the cause of the fire and to develop plans to try and correct this anamoly.
- National Campus Fire Safety Month, an annual project of Campus Firewatch
- Campus Fire Safety Capitol Hill Day, an annual project of Campus Firewatch
- Campus Fire Safety Right-to-Know Regulations, legislation signed into law in 2008
- Green Building Fire Safety, a project with the National Association of State Fire Marshals
Ed Comeau manages a number of social media channels, including
Ed Comeau also produces podcasts for Firehouse.com
Fire Investigations Reports
Ed Comeau, as chief fire investigator for the NFPA, was the investigator and author of a number of significant incidents.
Summaries of these reports are available on
(also the subject of an NFPA
Journal article) One of the most significant
fires ever documented in an airport terminal killed
seventeen people. The facts learned by Ed in the days
immediately following this fire were published in a
report that detailed this tragic incident.
- Board and
Care Fire-Arlington, Washington (also the subject of an NFPA
Journal article by Ed
Comeau) Another fire in a continuing
string of fatal board and care fires was investigated by
Ed. Eight women were killed in this fire started by
- Board and Care
Fire-Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania A fire in a
facility housing elderly, mentally challenged residents
killed 10 people.
- Board and
Care Fire-Mississauga Ontario In another
board and care fire investigated by Ed, seven residents
were killed in a fire in a one-story building that was
started by smoke materials.
- Board and
Care Fire-Ste. Genevieve, Quebec
(also the subject of an NFPA
Journal article) Seven elderly residents were
killed in a midday fire started by careless smoking.
- Bulk Retail
Store Fire-Tempe, Arizona
(also the subject of an article
that appeared in the UK magazine, Fire Engineer) Another fire in a home improvement store
provided additional information to the fire protection
community on the proper fire protection needs for these
types of stores.
Fire-Franklin, Massachusetts A fire in a
turn-of-the-century dormitory building completely
destroyed the structure. However, there were no lives
lost, primarily due to the fire prevention efforts of the
college and the fire department.
- Dance Hall
Fire-Gothenburg, Sweden A quick moving fire in a
crowded dance hall resulted in the deaths of 63 people.
Explosion-Lenoir, North Carolina This incident
killed two workers in a furniture manufacturing facility.
Significant contributing factors to this tragedy included
the lack of effective dust control and housekeeping.
Japan As part of a federal government
team, Ed Comeau traveled to Japan to document the
fire-related aspects of the devastating earthquake that
Channel Tunnel Fire-Folkestone, United Kingdom (also the subject of an
by Ed Comeau) The English Channel, or
'Chunnel' experienced a fire that, fortunately, did not
result in any loss of life or serious injury. Ed's
investigation and subsequent report did result in a
fascinating study of the events that led to this
- Fire Fighter
fatalities-West Helena, Arkansas Three
fire fighters were killed when an explosion occurred at a
pesticides repackaging facility.
- Fire Fighter
Fatalities-Seattle, Washington Four fire fighters
were killed in an arson fire. The arsonist fled the
country, resulting in an extensive effort to extradite
him back to the United States.
Fire-Petersburg, Virginia 5 people were
killed in a New Years Eve fire. As a direct result of
this fire, Virginia mandated that all hospitals in the
state be sprinklered.
Fire-Boston, Massachusetts A fire that started on
a kitchen grill extended into the duct work and traveled
five floors before igniting the roof of this historical
- Retail Store
Fire-Mableton, Georgia Five large cylinders of
propane were stored inside the loading dock of this
retail store. When a fire broke out, they exploded,
severely damaging the sprinkler system, which allowed the
store to be completely destroyed by the fire.
Center High Rise Fire-New York City This fire,
which involved five electrical closets, was a significant
challenge to the New York Fire Department and vividly
demonstrated the dangers of a fire in a high rise
Fire, Pangnirtung-Northwest Territories, Canada A
fire in sprinklered school that was being renovated
provided information on the need to ensure that all areas
of a building are completely sprinklered.
City, Oklahoma (also the subject of an NFPA
Journal article) Ed was on the scene the day
following the most tragic terrorist incident to strike
the United States. Given unprecedented access to the
rescue operations and command personnel, Ed was able to
provide a valuable account of the operations.
Building Fire-Washington, DC
(also the subject of an NFPA
Journal article and an article in the UK magazine, Fire
Prevention) A fire started during roofing
operations not only burned the roof of this building but
completely shut down the U.S. Treasury for several days
following the fire-a significant business
Fire-New Orleans, Louisiana
(also the subject of an article
in Fire Prevention magazine in the UK) Two fires in a one million square foot warehouse
completely burned the sprinklered building to the ground.
Unfortunately, when the second fire occurred, the
sprinkler system had been shut down as a result of the
- Campus Fire Safety for Students with Disabilities report
County Administration Building Review This fire killed
six people in a high-rise office building in downtown
Chicago. The governor retained James Lee Witt Associates to
study this incident and develop a comprehensive report. Ed
Comeau was the Operations Team Leader and principal author of the
- NEC/IEC Comparison
and Contrast © 1999
NFPA Used with permission Ed Comeau was
retained by NFPA International Operations to conduct a
comparison and contrast between NFPA's National
Electrical Code and the IEC 60364. This also served as
the basis for an article that appeared in the
November/December, 1999, issue of NFPA Journal.
Vigilance NFPA Journal
© 2003 NFPA The importance of ongoing fire
inspections for fire safety
Big Dig NFPA Journal
© 2003 NFPA NFPA 502 drives safety in the
world's largest tunnel system.
has changed the face of the world
Fire International Magazine
© 2002 writer-tech.com, llc Terrorism has forever
changed how the fire service goes about its business of saving
lives and protecting property.
An exclusive NFPA Online Article © 2002 NFPA
1996, a catastrophic fire at Dusseldorf International Airport in
Germany killed 17 people and injured 87 others.
When the new terminal opened last summer, significant changes,
prompted by that fire, had been made? Ed Comeau traveled
back to Germany to find out.
Air Systems Fire Engineering,
Fire Australia Journal, Fire Prevention (UK)
writer-tech.com, llc This
innovative air replenishment system is finding its way into
high-rise buildings in the United States.
Vision NFPA Journal
© 2002 NFPA The English Channel Tunnel fire
forced British and French officials to revamp their safety
procedures and training practices.
Sized Fire Protection NFPA Journal
© 2002 NFPA How did Sydney plan for the
Olympics, and what does Salt Lake City have in store for fire
for Survivors NFPA Journal
© 2002 NFPA What rescue personnel were
facing at the World Trade Center.
Storage NFPA Journal
© 2001 NFPA Improperly
stored oxidizers can pose a fire risk in warehouse occupancies.
Wildfire Meltdown NFPA Journal
© 2001 NFPA A progressive wildfire
suppression plan pays off for nuclear lab.
Facilities NFPA Journal
© 2001 NFPA The
growth of businessesí computers sharing space in remote data
centers outpaces fire protection standards.
© 2000 NFPA Activated in August 1999, the
DuPage County, Illinois, fire investigation task force is hoping to
have an impact in the fight against arson.
NIST Simulator Provides New Picture of LODDs,
the contributing factors to fire fighter fatalities has just
received a high-tech boost.
Challenge, NFPA Journal
© 2000 NFPA Protecting
the United States Capitol means dealing with a historic building
filled with priceless artwork and Congress, which canít be
interrupted for every renovation.
New at ATF, NFPA Journal
© 2000 NFPA A new research laboratory will allow
more thorough fire investigations.
VR, NFPA Journal © 2000
NFPA More on this cutting-edge training
tool for fire investigators.
Connected, NFPA Journal
© 2000 NFPA NFPA 76 addresses the growing need for
fire protection requirements in telecommunications facilities.
Disco Fire, NFPA Journal
© 2000 NFPA On
October 28, 1998, a disastrous arson fire occurred during a Halloween
party at a nightclub in Gothenburg, Sweden. Of the estimated 400 young
people in attendance, 63 died in the blaze. This article is based on Ed Comeau's investigation of this
Field Guide to Incident Analysis, National
Fire & Rescue Magazine This article, co-authored
by Ed Comeau, provides a description of the indicators a first-due
officer should use when sizing up the fire investigations
potential of a fire scene.
integrated chain of survival - paramedic care in the US, Fire
International (UK) In the US, the role of paramedics
and first responders increasingly involves hospital levels of care
en route to emergency departments.
- The Evolution of Technical
Rescue, NFPA Journal
© 2000 NFPA Technical rescue has come a long
way since its origins, and today it's a mainstay in the fire and
Reality Learning in Fire
Investigation, Fire International
This article covers
the new CD-based training tool,
- Roof Collapse
Kills Three, NFPA Journal
© 1999 NFPA
article outlines the tragic fire in Lake Worth, Texas,
that claimed the lives of three fire fighters who died
when a lightweight wood truss collapsed upon them.
required to reduce US firefighter
Fire International (UK) This article is
an overview of the factors contributing to fire fighter
fatalities and some of the measures that could be taken
to help reduce their occurrence.
- ATF National
NFPA Journal © 1998 NFPA This article was based
on Ed Comeau's firsthand experience with the ATF NRT at a
number of incidents.
- Board and Care
Journal © 1998 NFPA There is a
growing problem of fatal fires in board and care
facilities, and this article outlines not only the past
incidents that have occurred, but the potential problem
that we face as society ages.
- Düsseldorf Airport
Terminal Fire, Fire Prevention (UK) An article
based on the report by Ed Comeau appeared in the
professional journal, Fire Prevention in the United
- English Channel
Tunnel Fire, NFPA
1998 NFPA An account
of the events that led up to the fire that occurred in
the 51 mile tunnel underneath the English Channel and the
fire fighting operations that ensued.
Journal An article based on the
investigation conducted by Ed Comeau detailed the
emergency services operations that occurred on this
- Tempe Bulk Retail
International Fire Engineers Journal (UK) The
full report on this fire was reprinted in this UK
- Structural Fire Fighting
Ed Comeau was the developmental editor for a textbook on structural
fire fighting published by the NFPA. Ed provided not only
editing services, but contributed a significant number of case
studies from his experience at NFPA to augment the points covered by
Ed Comeau has served as both a subject matter
expert and onscreen talent for a number of video
- 9 Fires There were a series of 9 campus-related fires that struck across the country in a span of three weeks in January and February 2012. Ed Comeau developed the idea of documenting the impact of these fires on the families, the victims and the communities in partnership with the Michael H. Minger Foundation. The trailer is available online and the full video will be released in September 2012.
- igot2kno As part of this online training program, a detailed video that chronicled the fictional experience of students trapped in a fire was produced. Ed Comeau was an integral part of the production team for this project.
Denied An innovative campus
fire safety program designed to drive home the importance of
campus fire safety to students. This program was conceived
and produced by Ed Comeau
- Blaze A
four part series that was aired in the UK on Channel
4 and in the United States on The Learning Channel. This
was a series that explored the causes of fires. Ed Comeau
served as both a technical resource and an onscreen
talent for this international
Investigations A six part series produced by
NFPA based on its best-selling guide, NFPA 921, Guide to
Fire and Explosion Investigations. This projected
required extensive script review and editing as well as
working with the production company at filming sites
across the United States and Canada.
- NFPA Special Reports
A five part series based partly on fire
investigations reports produced by NFPA's Fire
Investigations Department. This project entailed
significant research, script review and production
- Fire-The Nature of the Beast
A documentary produced by the Discovery
Channel for broadcast in the United States and the United
Kingdom. Ed Comeau served as a subject matter expert by
providing the production company with background
information on a number of significant NFPA fire
investigations reports. He also served as an onscreen
talent, providing information on several of these
- Firecops A
documentary produced by the Discovery Channel for
broadcast in the United States and Canada. Ed Comeau
assisted the production company by providing background
information based on NFPA's fire investigations
Interactive Education and Training
This interactive campus fire safety education program was developed in partnership with the People's Burn Foundation of Indiana and included videos along with an online testing component.
With Fire Hosted by the U.S. Fire Administration, this
site is a comprehensive suite of "tools" that can be
used by campus fire safety educators in developing their own fire
safety programs. Ed Comeau designed the original site which has grown over the years under the direction of the US FIre Administration.
Housing Fire Safety
Safety, Health and Environmental Managers Association (CSHEMA)
contracted with writer-tech.com to develop an interactive, 2-day
campus fire safety training program. This program is
designed to train and educate campus housing officials on the
importance of campus fire safety and how to best implement the
many facets of an effective program on their campus.
- interFIRE VR Ed
Comeau served on the project team that is developing an
interactive CD to train fire investigators in the steps
to follow to properly investigate a fire scene. Using
virtual reality technology, it takes the fire
investigator inside of an actual fire scene where
subjects can be interviewed, the scene can be analyzed,
photographed, and "dug out." It is a public/private
partnership between NFPA, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, American Reinsurance, and the United States
Fire Administration that brought together the top experts
in the fields of fire investigations and interactive
College Fire Safety Forum-Final
- A forum organized by the
US Fire Administration and the National Fire
Protection Association was held at NFPA headquarters
in 1999. This forum was coordinated by Ed Comeau, who
also wrote the final report detailing the findings of
this forum. The
report is available, on-line, through this