For Immediate Release
ATF National Response Team Deploying to Romney to Support Fire Investigation
Investigators Looking Into Large Fire at West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind
ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives called on ATF’s National Response Team to begin a joint investigation of a major structural fire at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind.
On Saturday, fire and emergency crews responded to a large fire at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind on 301 E Main Street, Romney, Virginia. The fire destroyed the historic administration building of the school. The building was unoccupied, and no injuries were reported. Additionally, no students were on campus at the time of the fire.
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.
"It is truly unfortunate that a piece of this historical landmark which contained such a rich history has been destroyed, but I am relieved there were no injuries associated with this tragedy,” said Washington Field Division's Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson. “ATF is collaborating with our local and state fire and law enforcement agencies on this investigation and will lend our resources in any way we can.”
Past NRT activations include national-level activities or incidents such as Presidential Inaugurations, 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.