Berkeley Engineering And Research, Inc.
Plures Intelligens Modicum Machinatorem
Telephone: 510-549-3300 
Fax: 510-962-8230 

BEAR Project Receives Award


BEAR wins Best Paper of the Year

BEAR paper on preventing gasoline can explosions wins Best Paper of the Year


Alcohol Containers Explode Too!



Fire Investigation



Fire incidents are unique in that they often destroy much of the physical evidence key to determining their cause. BEAR's certified fire investigators and engineers follow a systematic and scientific investigation methodology to determine how and why a fire started and propagated.

Mr. Stan Huncilman, MFA, IAAI-FIT, successfully completed the requirements for designation as a Fire Investigation Technician (FIT) by the International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc. The requirements included extensive course work on origin and cause, and the investigation of over 100 fires using the scientific method outlined in NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations.



The initial investigation of a fire is referred to as an origin and cause investigation. The sooner it is performed after a fire, the better. Fire scene evidence is usually heavily damaged by the fire and easily damaged further by weather, scavengers and repairs. BEAR's fire investigators and engineers are available 24/7 to assist with an origin and cause investigation and scene documentation using photography, videography and laser scanning.

Example BEAR fire investigations are described below.


An Electrical Fire shuts down a medical imaging facility. Careful examination of the carrier box and 2 inch diameter electrical cables inside by Mr. Huncilman, revealed that the screws used to attach the conduit box panels wore into the 12,000 volt cables, causing a short to ground and igniting the cable insulation. The green arrows in the picture on the left indicate wear damage that had not made it all the way through the insulation when the fire occured.

Fuel Testing at BEAR using a customized test system built by Mr. Huncilman was instrumental in proving to a court that a fire destroying a Boeing 747 at the Miami airport was caused by hydraulic fluid leaking from a poorly maintained fuel truck rather than jet fuel leaking from the 747.

The incident itself inspired the chase scene at MIA in the James Bond movie Casino Royal.

The animation produced at BEAR's direction can be viewed using the link to the right.