ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

December 8, 2010

www.atf.gov

Contact: Special Agent Clare Weber

ATF Public Information Officer

(240) 882-5261

ATF National Response Team Activated to Investigate Baltimore City Fire

BALTIMORE — The National Response Team (NRT) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) along with agents from the ATF Baltimore Field Division were activated at the request of the Baltimore City Fire Department to investigate the Dec. 6 fire scene on 404 East Baltimore Street, Baltimore. The NRT arrives Wednesday to examine the fire scene as part of the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire.

Theresa R. Stoop, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Baltimore Field Division, said that the National Response Team was deployed at the request of the Baltimore City Fire Department. ATF’s primary mission at this scene will be to advance the investigation by supplementing the expertise that is already on the ground. The NRT will work in tandem with investigators from the Baltimore City Fire Department, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. The NRT will conduct interviews, reconstruct the scene, identify the origin of the fire, and sift through debris to obtain evidence related to fire.

Since its inception in 1978, the NRT has responded to more than 700 incidents, and has partnered with federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at significant arson and explosives incidents. ATF’s NRT has brought definitive expertise and an array of state-of-the-art equipment to the investigation of major fire and explosives incidents. The NRT is composed of veteran special agents, including certified explosives specialists and certified fire investigators; forensic mappers, accelerant and explosives detection canines; explosives enforcement officers; fire protection engineers; electrical engineers; and forensic chemists. In addition, the NRT’s fully equipped response vehicle will be staged at the scene to provide logistical support.

In December 2004, the NRT was deployed to work the arson at the Hunter’s Brooke housing development site in Charles County, Md. In addition to that investigation, and hundreds of other large fire scenes, the NRT has 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. 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.

ATF and the City of Baltimore are requesting that anyone with information regarding the fire please call the ATF’s 24 hour HOTLINE at 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473). Callers may remain anonymous.

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

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