Fire at Cosmopolitan in Indianapolis was Intentionally Set

March 17, 2009

Reward Offered in Cosmopolitan Arson

INDIANAPOLIS, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Response Team (NRT) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the ATF Columbus Field Division; the Indianapolis Fire and Metropolitan Police Departments; and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s State Fire Marshal investigators completed the on-scene investigation into the cause of the March 12 blaze at the Cosmopolitan on the Canal located in Indianapolis.

Christopher P. Sadowski, special agent in charge, ATF Columbus Field Division; Brian Sanford, chief, Indianapolis Fire Department; Michael Spears, chief, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department; and James Greeson, Indiana Fire Marshal, today announced that the blaze was ruled arson. Specific information regarding the fire and investigation will not be released as the investigation into the criminal act is continuing.

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the fire. Anyone with information about the fire should call 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473) or (317) 262-TIPS (317-262-8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

The team of investigators have taken photographs, recovered potential evidence from the scene for laboratory analysis and conducted more than 50 interviews throughout the community. The ATF NRT will depart Indianapolis today.

“The information developed was reviewed and analyzed to assist in determining the cause of the fire. The evidence will be analyzed by the ATF National Laboratory. Indianapolis ATF agents will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with Indianapolis police and fire investigators to investigate this crime,” said Sadowski.

The investigators would like to extend their appreciation to the citizens of Indianapolis who brought food, coffee and offered their support to the fire fighters and police officers during a very difficult night of fighting the fire.

ATF’s NRT, comprising ATF personnel from across the country, responded to the scene to work alongside state and local investigators. The NRT includes a canine team, certified fire investigators, forensic chemist, electrical and fire protection engineers, and additional specialists. This NRT activation was the 14th this fiscal year and 672nd since the 1978 inception of the NRT program.

    SA Kim Riddell, ATF PIO
    (330) 360-2063 (cell)

    Jeff Duhammel, IMPD PIO
    (317) 327-3424

    Rita Reith, IFD PIO
    (317) 761-6562 (pager)

    Rachel Meyer, IDHS PIO
    (317) 234-6713

SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Source: newswire

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