Meet The Team

James “Jay” Edwards, Fire Consultant

I began my professional career in law enforcement. In 1995, I was hired as a patrolman in Jemison, AL and within a year was recruited by the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department. After a year of road patrol, I was promoted to investigator which introduced me to all facets of investigations including fire investigations. I remained at the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department until 2002 during which time I assisted on numerous fire investigations and was promoted to Lieutenant and Lead Investigator. I also appeared on an episode of A&E Cold Case File for assisting on a cold case investigation involving the death of two newborn babies.

In May 2002, I took the exam for the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office and placed Number 1 in Band 1 and was hired as a Deputy State Fire Marshal where I remained until December 2013. During my employment, I attended the Alabama Fire College and completed their Certified Fire Investigator class, Level 1 and 2. I also received certification in their Fire Inspector Level 1 and 2 courses. I was also able to attend ATF’s 2-week course called Advanced Origin and Cause and Courtroom Testimony in Glenco, GA. I worked over 600 fire scenes and testified in court several times where I was recognized as an Expert Witness. I was also awarded Officer of the Year in 2006 where I was the Case Agent on a spree of church fires, whose story received national attention.

In 2013, I partnered with Curt Graff and started Leading Edge Fire Investigations. I resigned from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and took a full time Police Officer’s position with the Clanton Police Department where I currently serve as Corporal on night shift. I have obtained my International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) certification and I am currently licensed to and have worked fires in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee and Georgia. I have also accepted a position as a board member for the Alabama Association of Arson Investigators. Since starting Leading Edge Fire Investigations, I have inspected well over 400 fires and assisted our clients in recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars through subrogation.

On a personal level, I am married with 3 children. I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family and attending the church where I have served as a deacon.

My goal as an investigator is to be thorough, detailed, and concise using the scientific method and systematic approach to report the facts of each incident. I will never compromise my morals or integrity. My opinions will be based on the physical facts of each fire scene and my training, education, and experience as a fire investigator. As the industry changes, I will continue to learn through training, in efforts to put forth the best available options to my clients.



James “Jay” Edwards
PO Box 1096
Murphysboro, IL 62966