Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Houston Field Division
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
July 9, 2010
Contact: Franceska Perot, Ph.D.
ATF Special Agent, PIO
(281) 372-2908 (office)
Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office
ATF and Fire Marshal Rule Fatal Egg Farm Fire as Accidental
BOLING, TX — The National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office announced today that they have finished the scene investigation at the Maxim Egg Farm in Boling, Texas. Investigators have determined that the fire was accidental. The fire which occurred late on the evening of July 3, 2010, killed Captain Thomas Araguz and injured two others from the Wharton County Volunteer Fire Department.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Elder said,
The ATF National Response Team and Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office have completed their assignments at the fire scene. The investigators have taken countless photographs, inspected and examined artifacts recovered from the scene and conducted over 90 interviews. The information developed was reviewed and analyzed to assist in determining the cause of the fire.
Our investigation revealed that the fire started in the northeast corner of the structure and was caused by resistance heating in a light fixture in a dry storage area. The official cause of the fire is accidental. Our thoughts go out to the family of Captain Araguz and the Wharton County Volunteer Fire Department for their losses, said Elder.
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.
The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office has the responsibility to investigate all fire fighter fatalities related to fire fighting incidents within the state of Texas. More information can be found at www.tdi.state.tx.us.