Acacia Investigations, Fire and Fraud Investigation Specialists

Fire and Fraud
Investigation Specialists




Acacia Investigations derived its name from the acacia tree, a small tree with feathery leaves and pleasant-smelling yellow flowers that is found in warmer climates.  The acacia tree dates to antiquity and in ancient legend is the clue that led investigators to find the body of a missing, murdered craftsman, whose loss had been concealed in lies.  The body is found and the truth revealed when investigators find a branch of an acacia tree out of place at the victim’s gravesite and exhumed the body.  It is this “digging for the truth”, which moves any successful investigation forward and digging is most certainly required in fire investigation.

Bob Nattrass founded Acacia Investigations in 1993 after a twenty-year career with the Connecticut State Police, which included an extended tour of duty in the Office of the State Fire Marshal, from where he retired as a supervisor of the Fire Investigation and Enforcement Unit.  During his public service career, he was responsible for the investigation and/or supervision of investigation of over 850 major structure fires.

            After a very successful year, Acacia Investigations’ operations were halted, so that a journey to the Ukraine could be undertaken to adopt a child.  It is interesting to note that prior to this trip, Bob had never seen an acacia tree.  During an afternoon walk in Odessa along the Black Sea, a member of the Nattrass’ host family pointed out the beautiful acacia trees that lined the street.  After returning from the Ukrainian trip, a decision was made to accept a position as a special investigator with a major insurance company dealing with property lines.  This decision was most rewarding. It provided an education involving the operations and goals of the insurance industry and claim investigation. Two years after accepting this position, the opportunity to change companies and become an all lines special investigator came and was accepted.

            In January 1998, with four years in-house insurance investigation experience and education, the decision was made to reopen Acacia Investigations.  The concentration would be on fire origin and cause investigation, the most challenging of all investigations.

            Continued business growth and the desire to provide the best customer service available led to the expansion of Acacia Investigations in September 1999 when James Butterworth, a fire investigator with exceptional investigative experience and a pioneer in accelerant detection canine training joined us. William Lewis retired from the Connecticut State Fire Marshal’s Office as Senior Fire Investigator and joined our team in September 2001.  Bill is a leader in the fire service and experienced Fire Marshal.  Michael Grasso, who has extensive law enforcement, firefighting, fire code and fire investigation experience and is a Certified Fire Investigator, joined our team in 2005.  Roger Baxter immediately joined our team after retiring from the Connecticut State Marshal's Office as Senior Fire Investigator/Accelerant Canine Handler in 2009.  He has testified numerous times as an expert in both criminal and civil courts.  Thomas Madigan, an experienced, Certified Fire Investigator joined our team in 2010 as demands for service continued to grow.  Tom has expanded our coverage into Massachusetts where he has been involved in fire investigation for many years.  “Digging for the truth” continues.  Acacia Investigations is licensed, bonded and insured.


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