WICHITA — Only three years ago, Kent Grier was still working out of his house after starting Kent Grier Fire Investigations a couple of years before that.
Then he moved to 824 W. 13th in Riverside, but now he’s outgrown that space, too.
“The longer you do it, the more exposure you get,” Grier says of his business.
The new KGFI space will be at Waco and Murdock at Wingate Plaza.
Grier spent 23 years with the Wichita Fire Department, six as a firefighter and 17 in the arson unit.
After working as an investigator for a couple of other companies here and in Denver, Grier decided to open his own shop.
Insurance companies and law firms are typically his clients.
Grier says it takes several years to grow a business like his.
“It’s hard to advertise because you don’t just do radio for my type of work or newspapers,” he says.
A lot of people don’t know he’s here.
“I still come across attorneys . . . surprised to find out,” Grier says.
He’s picking up more and more business, though.
Grier says there are no other independent fire investigators in Wichita, and there’s only one person working for a national company who is based here.
“Wichita’s actually a very small market for this type of business,” Grier says.
His wife, Jan Harrison of KFXJ, 104.5-FM, does marketing and other work for the business.
Grier now has a full-time clerical staff, a full-time investigator and three part-time investigators.
His move to 807 N. Waco, which will happen June 1st, is partly out of necessity for more space but also because he’ll have a second floor balcony overlooking the Arkansas River.
“You bet,” Grier says. “I’ve watched that place for a long time.”