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James Bales,

Senior Fire Investigator - Automotive Specialist


New Jersey Service Center
11 Commerce Way
Suite A



Telephone 2





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  • Professional summary

    Mr. Bales is a volunteer firefighter and past Chief with 41 years of experience with the Gardiner Fire Department and currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Commissioner for the Gardiner Fire District. Mr. Bales is also a charter and current member of the Ulster County Fire Investigation Unit serving 37 years and investigating over 1,600 fires. While on the Fire Investigation Unit he served as Chief Fire Investigator managing the investigators and investigating a wide variety of fires. Mr. Bales has a thorough knowledge of motor vehicles having worked as a technician and service management over 32 years with GM and Chrysler Corporations. Mr. Bales is also a member of the New York State Fire Investigators having served as Vice President and is currently a member and Sergeant at Arms of the International Association of Arson Investigators.

     Mr. Bales has been employed as a fire investigator with Unified Investigations and Sciences full time since 2005. In his time with UIS he has investigated over 1,100 assignments involving structural fires, vehicle and heavy equipment fires, accidents, and failure analysis and also several marine fires. He has worked many large loss scenes over the years as well as multi-million dollar long term investigations. He is asbestos operations and maintenance licensed and HAZWOPER certified enabling him to work on those losses.

     Mr. Bales is an International Certified Fire Investigator with Motor Vehicle Endorsement through the International Association of Arson Investigators and National Pro Board Certified. He has extensive training in the automotive industry and investigation of vehicle fire and failure analysis. He has also worked on accident investigations involving mechanical failure of components. In addition he has worked on numerous logging industry machines, tractor cabs and trailers as well as other forms of transportation.


  • Certifications

    CFI (V), IAAI, #23-028

    CFI NFPA 1033, National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications, #38700

    CFI Level II, OFPC, New York, #750002-0999-0163

    CFI, NYS Chapter 23 IAAI, New York

    Private Investigator, Department of State, New York, #11000074844

    Motor Vehicle Inspector, Department of Motor Vehicles, New York, #61H3

    F O&M Asbestos, Department of Labor, New York, 12-04137

    Alternative Fuel Vehicles, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, Massachusetts

    Chrysler Certified Technician, Chrysler Corporation, New York

    Chevrolet Certified Technician, General Motors Corporation, New York

    Chevrolet Certified Service Manager, General Motors Corporation, New York

    Certified Master Technician, National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

    Certified Air Conditioning Technician, ASE


  • Disciplines
    • Fire Investigations
    • Fire Investigations - Origin and Cause
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