For Immediate Release
ATF National Response Team Deploying to Charleston to Support Fire Investigation
Investigators Looking Into Large Fire at Apartment Complex
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives today called on ATF’s National Response Team to begin a joint investigation of a major structural fire at an apartment complex in Charleston, S.C.
On Monday, fire and emergency crews responded to a large fire at the Palms Apartment Homes on 220 Royal Palm Boulevard. The fire destroyed five buildings and damaged two additional buildings. No injuries were reported, but residents from 56 units have been displaced due to the damage.
The Charleston Fire Department requested ATF’s NRT assistance in investigating the incident. The NRT provides an immediate and sustained nationwide response capability, typically deploying within 24 hours of notification, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified ATF personnel specializing in fire origin and cause determination.
"We have a large number of Charleston residents without a home this week, so it’s important to us to help find out why,” said Charlotte Field Division's Special Agent in Charge Vince Pallozzi. “ATF is joining our local and state fire and law enforcement agencies on this investigation and will assist in any way we can.”
Past NRT activations include such incidents as a massive fire that destroyed a QVC distribution center in Rocky Mount late last year; a fire that destroyed the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce; a commercial fire in Charleston, South Carolina, that killed nine firefighters in 2007; and national-level incidents such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the Oklahoma City bombing.
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.