About Us


Ward & Associates Forensic Fire Investigation Inc. is dedicated to the completion of thorough, ethical origin and cause investigations and the honest documentation of facts. It is our mission to provide clients with the facts that they need to make informed claim decisions.


Ward & Associates Forensic Fire Investigation Inc.’s company logo was born after a casual discussion that Ward had with his young daughter one afternoon about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. During the Great Chicago fire, a fire broke out in a barn located behind the O’Leary family home. How the fire was started is still debated today, but the fire devastated the city. At least 300 people died, 100,000 people were made homeless, and $200,000,000 worth of property damage was done. The Great Chicago Fire was one of the largest disasters in American history during the 19th Century.

Today, Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy stands in the place of the old O’Leary family barn. At the academy lies a sculpture that represents the point of origin of the flames that terrorized the city in 1871 as well as the Pillar of Fire. The Pillar of Fire is a symbol that can be seen throughout history as a representation of light or the truth. This holds great meaning to the Ward and Associates team because somewhere in the ashes of every fire lies the facts to the origin and cause and the truth behind the incident.




The sculpture at Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy that memorializes the Great Chicago Fire.



This conversation that Ward had with his daughter inspired her to draw. She drew an image of flames extending from a red triangle – the image which now represents Ward & Associates Forensic Fire Investigation Inc. as its logo. Ward’s daughter, being the daughter of a firefighter, knew that the triangle is a symbol that follows every firefighter throughout his/her career. (It is known as the fire tetrahedron and represents heat, fuel, and oxygen – the three components that have to be present in order for any incident to occur.) She saw the value then that Ward and Associates see now in merging the flames and the triangle as one to depict a commitment to find the truth behind each and every investigation.

Just as our logo shows, Ward and Associates is committed to provide a superior fire and explosion investigations to our clients based alone on the underlying truth by using the best principles and practices available along with training, knowledge, and experience on fire behavior and science.


Our team of experts determine the origin and cause of incidents and report evidence of fraud, subrogation potential, and/or liability concerns directly back to clients. By using a systematic approach, the best practices recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, and tailored procedures for each investigation to expedite the process, Ward & Associates provide the most effective, ethical, unbiased, and truth-based investigations available. We are qualified and experienced in:

– Residential and commercial property fire and explosion investigations

– Industrial fire and explosion investigations
– Vehicle fire and explosion investigations
– Marine fire and watercraft fire investigations

– Heavy equipment and machinery fire investigations

– Fire investigation consulting and training
– Subrogation assistance and more.


Ward & Associates Forensic Fire Investigation Inc. is fully licensed in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virgina, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, and currently in the process of expanding to Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio coming soon in 2022 — 2023.




"We Dig to Find the Truth!"

Address: P.O. Box 201, Manhattan, IL 60442

Phone: (815) 405-5491

Fax:  (815) 478-7635

E-Mail: [email protected]

Or use our contact form.

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