Jill Bronaugh
Communication Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
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Press Releases

Welcome to new investigators, Tom Sipp and Eric Lawrence

User Not Found | May 20, 2016

Tom Sipp and Eric Lawrence, new fire investigatorsThe OSFM Investigation Division welcomes its two newest investigators, Tom Sipp and Eric Lawrence.

Tom Sipp is a Topeka native now living in Wichita. A graduate of Topeka High School (Class of 1981) and a Marine Corp veteran, Tom worked for the Hutchinson Police Department for two years before embarking on a 26 year career with the Topeka Police Department in 1988. Upon retiring from TPD in 2014, Tom worked for two years as a Gaming Agent for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

Tom and his wife Paige have been married for 26 years and they have three children, daughters Brittany (25) and Brooklyn (22) and son Brogan (16). Brittany and Brooklyn both attended college on soccer scholarships and Tom and Paige traveled many miles attending college soccer games. These days, they spend their time traveling to Brogan’s baseball and football games.

Tom is looking forward to the challenges of learning something new in his position as a Fire Investigator, saying that in his career he’s done a lot of police work but now gets to learn more about conducting fire investigations.

Eric Lawrence spent his younger years in Yates Center where he graduated from high school and worked in his first law enforcement position with the Yates Center Police Department. Following stints with Topeka Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol, he settled in with the Iola Police Department where he spent 12 years of his career before joining the Iola Fire Department. Eric is also a retired veteran with the National Guard, with 21 years of service and having served a tour in Iraq in 2005 with the 891st Battalion.

Thanks to his military service, Eric was able to return to college where he completed a BS degree in Justice Studies in 2012.

With his extensive career in law enforcement and four years in the fire service, becoming a Fire Investigator for the OSFM is a natural fit for Eric. He is excited to be back in law enforcement and thrilled by the “unknown” aspects of the position – each case he investigates will bring very unique and potentially surprising puzzles to solve.

Eric and his wife Melissa have been married for nearly 23 years and they have a 16 year old daughter, Emily, who is a basketball player at Chanute Christian Academy. Eric enjoys his dual role as both dad and the team’s Assistant Basketball Coach.