The UK Association of Fire Investigators (UK-AFI) presented their 2015 photographic awards at their Annual Training Conference, held in London.

This is a photographic contest like no other. Not one photograph is taken for entry into the competition. They are all taken in the line of duty; to document, discover or disclose the cause of a fire.

These forensic photographers have to be cajoled in January each year to trawl through the mass of photographs they have taken in the previous 12 months and submit them.

There are prizes – but the greater prize is the benefit these photographs bring to fire investigation training. A massive thank you to the photographers for every single entry.

Word is spreading far and wide with more entries than ever for the contest. There are three categories. Fire Scene, Close up / Forensic and Investigator at Work, with one winning the Best Overall.

On this year’s competition, UK-AFI President Nick Carey, who was also a judge for the competition, said: “A big ‘thank you’ goes to Richard Smart from AGX Holdings Ltd and Jonathan Maisey from Calumet for supplying the prizes. Thanks also go to MediaFiler for setting up our online submission system, which worked seamlessly!

Alastair McDavid, Regional Director of MediaFiler said: “The Fire Investigators are outstanding forensic photographers; their photography plays a critical role in the discovery and identification process. You get to see the very best photographs from across the UK which assists the UK-AFI build up a formidable resource of material that can be used for training. I am delighted that MediaFiler both manages the contest but also the resulting media archive.”

Alan Bell, winner Close up / Forensic said of his photo: “These remains are of an extension reel found within the area of origin at a large domestic fire that resulted in the loss of the building and several vintage cars. The fire involved acetylene cylinders and was a challenging scene to interpret. However, CCTV footage assisted in identifying the area of origin and the remains of this reel was discovered after careful excavation.”

Jason Masterman, winner, Investigator at Work said: “One of five Fire Investigators digging at the scene of a large fire in a Boatyard building. The three floor building was destroyed and so the arduous task of investigating, eliminating and digging commenced. This image of FI Paul McGrath from Jersey Fire & Rescue portrays the surrounding devastation and the task ahead.”

Tuomas Päviä – Overall Winner, Fire Safety Officer, Finnish Fire and Rescue Service
said of his photograph, “These two fire fighters survey the remains of a building after a suspected arson attack.”

The UK-AFI has over 950 members, with representation from the ?re service, insurance industry, law enforcement, forensic scientists, private ?re investigators, ?re investigation training providers and forensic science academic establishments. UK-AFI is a chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators.