ATF National Response Team Activated to Investigate Mason Street Fire in Fort Collins
DENVER, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Response Team (NRT) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) along with agents from the ATF Denver Field Division have been activated by request from the Poudre Fire Authority and the Fort Collins Police Department to investigate a fire involving the Mason Street Complex, located at 311 N. Mason Street in Fort Collins, Colorado. The fire occurred on October 24. The team is led by Denver Field Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey and Acting Team Supervisor Kenneth Whiteley, Arson and Explosives Programs Division. The NRT will conduct an assessment of the fire scene and formulate an investigative plan with state and local investigators.
“ATF is investigating this fire jointly with the Poudre Fire Authority and the Fort Collins Police Department. We will work together in partnership to determine the origin and cause of this fire,” said Marvin Richardson, ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Field Division. The total loss of the structure is estimated by the investigators to be $10 million. This is the second activation of the NRT in fiscal year 2012 and the 723 activation since the inception of the team in 1978.
ATF’s NRT has brought definitive expertise and an array of state-of-the-art equipment to the investigation of major fire incidents since 1978. Since its inception, the NRT has partnered with federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at these significant fire scenes. Investigators from the Poudre Fire Authority, as well as the Fort Collins Police Department, will jointly investigate with the NRT. The NRT works alongside its partners in reconstructing the scene, identifying the origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the fire.
The NRT is organized into three geographic regions covering the United States. The team can respond within 24 hours to work jointly with state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in onsite investigations. In addition to investigating hundreds of large fire scenes, the NRT has also been activated to scenes such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building bombing and the 9/11 Pentagon crash site, as well as explosions at explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories and illegal explosive device manufacturing operations.
The NRT is also deployed to support the safety and security of major sporting events in the United States, presidential inaugurations, national political conventions and major international conferences.
The responding NRT component typically has 13 to 18 members, including veteran special agents who have post blast and fire origin-and-cause expertise; forensic chemists; explosives enforcement officers; fire protection engineers; accelerant detection canines; explosives detection canines; intelligence support, computer forensic support and forensic audit support. Further complementing the team’s efforts are technical, legal and intelligence advisors. A fleet of fully equipped response vehicles strategically located throughout the United States provides logistical support.
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating fires and crimes of arson. More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.
Contact: SA/PIO Brad Beyersdorf
SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives