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Vera Shakari

Trainee Fire Investigator

About Vera

Vera is soon to graduate with a Bachelors of Forensic Science majoring in Crime Scene Investigation from the University of Technology Sydney. She first joined Fire Forensics in 2020 as a summer intern nearing the end of her second year in university, now with the role of trainee fire investigator within the company.

She additionally holds a Bushfire Arson Investigation certificate obtained whilst attending a course conducted by the Victorian Police.
During her first year working at Fire Forensics, she has been involved in the investigation of many incidents involving fires and explosions ranging from structures to vehicles.

Q&A 

What inspired you to enter the fire and explosion investigation industry?

 

Whilst studying at UTS as a forensic science student, I took a subject called fire and investigation which was run by Fire Forensics at the time. During the first practical, it quickly became a new interest and passion, as it was something I had little knowledge of and was very different to what I had been previously studying. As a result, I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Fire Forensics which ultimately started my journey as an intern. Learning from the team and attending scenes had only increased my interest and passion for fire and explosion investigation.

 

Can you tell us about the most interesting case you’ve been involved in so far?

I have been involved in many interesting cases over the past year and a half working with Fire Forensics, however one comes to mind as the most interesting I’ve attended to thus far. During an investigation of an SUV, the attending investigator and I found remains of a Molotov cocktail in the passenger front seat. 

 

What is your main area of interest, and why?

 

I have many areas of interest within fire and explosion investigation, these include electrical fires, vehicle fires and a new interest in bushfire investigation. I’m very interested in electronics in my everyday life such as learning about computer hardware or electrical components within appliances in general. Thus, when coupled with observing what could go wrong within an electrical device or system to cause a fire is an area, I find fascinating. Vehicle fires are an interest as I seek to be more knowledgeable in this area. As for Bushfire investigation, it has become a recent interest after attending a bushfire arson investigation course taught by the VIC police.


What do you most enjoy about working in the fire and explosion investigation industry?

 

What I enjoy most about working within the fire and explosion investigation industry is that I am able to learn something new at every scene I attend. This is because not one scene is the same as the previous or the next, this means that my learning or job is never static with each new scene that comes along. I additionally enjoy travelling to scenes whether it be in the form of a road trip or a flight, it enables me to see and go to new places I haven’t previously been to.  

 
What do you believe sets Fire Forensics apart from other investigation companies?

 

I believe what sets Fire Forensics apart from other investigation companies is how they approach building and training each investigator as well as our professionalism and approachability. Despite being experienced investigators, they’re always seeking more knowledge from each other or from experts in other fields. Fire Forensics consists of people that are both professional and friendly, making them the best team to work with.

 
What are you most looking forward to achieving with Fire Forensics in 2022?

 

What I most look forward to achieving this year with Fire Forensics, is becoming a full-time trainee with hopes of soon becoming an investigator. I look forward to learning more within the field and continue my training with our senior investigators

 
What are your favourite things to do during your down-time?

 

Some hobbies I enjoy in my down time include my love for photography and film, reading, attending Muay Thai classes, learning random new things like playing an instrument, or building a drone. However, my favourite down time activity, is hanging out with my dog, Lucky.