About Gene Padgitt

Gene is the Vice-President of HearthMasters, Inc. DBA Padgitt Forensic  Investigations. HearthMasters is the largest chimney company within 200 miles of  Kansas City. Eugene is one of only two Certified Fire Investigators in the Midwest region that specialize in structural fires related to chimneys, fireplaces, and heating appliances.

Industry Experience: 35 years of industry experience in diagnosing chimney and fireplace problems, repairing fireplaces and chimneys: design and building of chimneys, masonry heaters, fireplaces, and brick ovens; installation of wood burning fireplaces, wood stoves, wood stove inserts, wood furnaces, gas logs, gas inserts, and gas stoves. He worked as an Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling contractor for ten years. Gene has 15 years of fire investigation experience and has been a popular industry instructor for 20 years. Gene has completed over 38,000 chimney inspections, and at least 150 Fire investigations involving house fires related to chimneys and heating appliances. He has done fire investigation work for Consolidated Forensic Investigations, Independent Forensics, Dynamic insurance Fire and Fraud Investigations, Anderson Investigations, American Family Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance Company, State Farm Insurance Company, Allied Insurance Company, Allstate Insurance Company, The Raytown Missouri Fire Department, Allstate Insurance Company, USAA Insurance Company, and others, and many attorneys.

Gene holds a Master Mechanical Contractor License in Johnson County, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Raytown, Missouri;  Independence, Missouri, Gladstone, Missouri and recognized in all other cities and counties in the greater KC area

Missouri State Certified Private Fire Investigator through the Missouri Division of Fire Safety since 2003
Certified Woodburning Specialist by the National Fireplace Institute 2000-2009
Certified Gas Specialist by the National Fireplace Institute since 2001
Certified Chimney Sweep by the Chimney Safety Institute of America since 1990
CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician by the Chimney Safety Institute of America since 2015
Certified Heater Mason by the Masonry Heater Association of North America since 2006
Welding Certificates from Vatterott College 1991-1994

College Education:
Degree in Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling Technology, May 1986, Vatterott & Sullivan College, Kansas City, MO
Gene completed two years of study at Rockhurst College and the Kansas City Art Institute from 1976-1978 with a major in photography.

Annual Education:

1. Attends 8-16 hours of technical classes sponsored by the Johnson County Licensing Board to maintain  Licensed Mechanical Contractor designation annually. 

2. Attends 32 hours of training every three years at the Masonry Heater Association Conference in order to maintain  Certified Heater Mason designation.

3. Attends 16+ hours of training at the Missouri Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators conference annually.

4. Attends 16 hours of training at the National Chimney Sweep Guild annual Convention annually.

5. Attends 16 hours of training at the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association annual Convention every three years.

6. Attends 12-16 hours of training at the annual MCSC Conference annually

Instructional Seminars Designed and Taught by Gene Padgitt:

  • Scaffold and Ladder Safety, Midwest Chimney Safety Council meeting, August 1998
  • Installation of a Gas-Burning Fireplace Insert, Midwest Chimney Safety Council meeting, August 1999

  • Chimney Inspection Guidelines for the Home Inspector, ASHI Plains Chapter Meeting, August 2000

  • Masonry Repair Methods for Chimney Crowns and Fireplaces, MCSC Annual Conference, 2002
  • Construction of Rumford and Bellfires Fireplaces: Midwest Chimney Safety Council, March, 2002
  • What is a Rumford Fireplace? Midwest Chimney Safety Council Annual Conference, 2003
  • Level III Chimney and House Fire Origin and Cause Investigations, MCSC Annual Conference, 2003
  • Understanding Make-up Air, Midwest Chimney Safety Council Annual Conference, March 27, 2004

  • Solving Negative Air Pressure Problems, Masonry Heater Association Annual Conference, April, 2004
  • Construction of Masonry Bake Ovens, Midwest Chimney Safety Council, April 2005

  • Forensic Evaluations of Structural Fires Caused by Chimneys and Heating Appliances: Hearth, Patio, and 

         Barbeque Association April 2010

  • Stone Chimney Restoration, and Rumford fireplace building, Midwest Chimney Safety Council,  August 2010
  • Bake Oven Building Workshop, Midwest Chimney Safety Council, June 2011
  • Masonry Finishing in Stone and Brick, Midwest Chimney Safety Council workshop, May, 2012
  • Building an Outdoor Smoker, Masonry Heater Association, April 2013
  • Rumford Fireplace Construction, National Chimney Sweep Guild, April, 2013
  • Identifying Negative House Pressure, Midwest Chimney Safety Council workshop August 2013
  • Installation of a Whole-House Ventilator, Midwest Chimney Safety Council workshop August 2013
  • Masonry Chimney Restoration, Midwest Chimney Safety Council Conference, June, 2016
  • How to Construct an Outdoor Brick Oven, HearthMasters Masonry School, June, 2017
  • How to Repair Stucco and Plaster, Midwest Chimney Safety Council Conference June, 2017

HearthMasters Traveling Masonry School
Opened the school in 2014 with three six-day courses designed and presented by Gene and Marge Padgitt:

· Basic Masonry Construction
· Brick Oven Construction
· Chimney and Fireplace Construction

Articles Written by Gene Padgitt:

  • Is the Smoke Chamber a Smoking Gun?  Masonry Construction Magazine, April 2008
  • Fire Investigations Regarding Pre-Manufactured Appliances, Printed in SWEEPING Magazine, 9/2001
  • A series of 12 forensic articles for SNEWS magazine
  • Demonstrating how to avoid installation and maintenance issues that can lead to a structural fire 2009-2012
  • Rebuilding a Leaning Chimney, SNEWS Magazine, October, 2012
  • Masonry Heater Maintenance, SWEEPING Magazine, January, 2013
  • Gene has also consulted on over 150 articles written by Marge Padgitt for examiner.com, chimneys.com, and SNEWS magazine. 


Gene Padgitt, PFI

Padgitt Forensic Investigations

Complete Curriculum Vitae available upon request


All reports are compiled, researched, and written by Marge Padgitt, NFI, CCS

Marge has 32 years experience in the industry and is Certified by NFI and is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep

She is the president of HearthMasters, Inc., president of the Midwest Chimney Safety Council, and served on the board of directors for the National Chimney Sweep Guild, the Midwest Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, and the Masonry Heater Association of North America. Marge is the author of hundreds of articles and The Chimney and Hearth Pro's Resource Guide, and more books coming soon. 

  • Specialty investigations of structural fires related to chimneys, fireplaces, and heating appliances.

  • We write reports that are clear and concise, citing codes and standards and showing photos of problem areas. Gene provides his opinion as to Origin and Cause of the fire.  

  • Gene serves as an expert witness for court cases, but often cases are settled out of court based on our findings and report. 

Our inspector is Gene Padgitt, Certified Private Fire Investigator by the Missouri Department of Public Safety since 2003

A division of HearthMasters, inc.