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FIRETC-123 - Fire Investigation - John Eric Pearce

Course:Fire Investigation
Professor:John Eric Pearce
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


This course provides the fundamentals and technical knowledge needed for proper fire scene interpretations, including recognizing and conducting origin and cause, preservation of evidence and documentation, scene security, motives of the fire setter, and types of fire causes.

Course Description

Course Objectives:

  1. Explain the importance of documentation, evidence collection, and scene security process needed for successful resolution.
  2. Describe the process of conducting fire origin and cause investigation.
  3. Identify the responsibilities of a firefighter when responding to the scene of a fire, including scene security and evidence preservation.
  4. Describe the implications of constitutional amendments as they apply to fire investigations to include case law decisions that have affected fire investigations.
  5. Define the common terms used in fire investigations
  6. Explain the basic elements, fire dynamics, construction, and fire protection systems as to how they affect origin and cause determination.
  7. Discuss the basic principles and identify cause and origin of fires.
  8. Recognize potential health and safety hazards.
  9. Identify the process of proper documentation

What to Expect in this Course

This course is 100% on line which means all learning, assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. will be conducted using the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).  As you may already know, online courses provide amazing flexibility in allowing you to continue your education without traveling to campus several times per week.    This course is as rigorous as an on-campus course. 

Types of Assessments

The course follows the semester schedule, has weekly reading assignments and quizzes (that are typically due on Sunday night by midnight).  Additionally, there is a midterm exam, final exam and a mandatory research paper/project.  This class requires regular participation in discussion boards and students are expected to be on the same weekly pace as the other students, as this promotes interactive discussion with each other.

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

Required Textbook:

Title: Fire Investigator: Principles and Practice

Publisher:  International Association of Fire Chiefs

ISBN: 9781284247053

Edition: 6th Edition

Year: 2023


The textbook may be purchased through the campus bookstore or any other retail or online source.


Other Relevant Course Information

The course can be accessed via Canvas at on the first day of the course. Follow the login instructions at the bottom of the screen to log in. Here, you can also access Canvas user guides with helpful tips for navigating and using Canvas. For any Canvas related issues please call the Canvas Student Support line at (661)362-3344 during college business hours, or (877)889-9052 for 24/7 support.


Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 12/23/2022 Sub#: 1522