Fire and Explosion Investigation Specialists

Acacia Investigations derives 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 is revealed when investigators find a branch of an acacia tree out of place at the victim’s gravesite and exhume 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 1998 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, where he retired as a supervisor of the Fire Investigation and Enforcement Unit. Bob also spent several years as a special investigator with a major insurance company during which time, he was involved in the operations of the insurance industry and claims investigations.  With these backgrounds, Bob decided that Acacia Investigations would concentrate on fire and explosion 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 of 2001 when William Lewis joined our team. “Bill” retired from the Connecticut State Police - Office of the State Fire Marshal - Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement. Bill is a leader in the fire service and an experienced Fire Marshal.  In 2005 Acacia Investigations expanded again when Michael Grasso joined the team.  “Mickey” has a background in law enforcement, and extensive experience in firefighting, fire code, and fire investigation.  In June of 2009 Roger Baxter, the new owner of Acacia Investigations, was welcomed into the Acacia family.  Roger retired from the Connecticut State Police as a Detective, after spending nineteen of his twenty-five years with the State Police, in the Office of the State Fire Marshal-Bureau Investigation and Enforcement Unit as a Senior Fire Investigator.  During his time in the State Fire Marshal’s Office Roger was also an Accelerant Detection Canine Handler for eighteen years.  Roger is the lead instructor and Assistant Program Coordinator for the annual Advanced Fire Investigation School conducted by the Connecticut State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit.  He has testified numerous times as an expert in both criminal and civil courts.  Thomas Madigan joined Acacia Investigations in 2010.  “Tom” is a Lieutenant and EMT with the Braintree, MA Fire Department and has also provided instruction to the fire community.  Wayne Opdenbrouw is the “newest” (15 years experience) member joining Acacia Investigations in 2021.  “Wayne” retired from the Connecticut State Police – Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit.  Wayne is a Firefighter/Paramedic and also a Deputy Fire Marshal.  All of Acacia’s Investigators are Certified Fire Investigators with the International Association of Arson Investigators along with holding other certifications.  They are also all Connecticut Certified Fire Marshals or Deputy Fire Marshals.

The “Digging for the Truth” continues.  Acacia Investigations is licensed, bonded, and insured to conduct investigations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

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