For Immediate Release
ATF National Response Team Joins Commercial Fire Investigation
WASHINGTON – The Seattle Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requested assets from ATF’s National Response Team join the investigation into a fire that broke out onboard the 276-foot commercial fishing vessel Kodiak Enterprises while docked in Tacoma, Washington.
NRT members arrived in Tacoma on Monday to assist the National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard in this ongoing investigation. The NRT consists of Special Agents, Certified Fire Investigators, Fire Protection Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Forensic Chemists, Certified Explosives Specialists, an Intelligence Research Specialist, a Medic and an Accelerant Detection Canine with handler. NRT can be deployed in full or parts depending on the needs of the investigation.
“Our division response team and assets from the ATF National Response Team are on scene and are working with our partners on the Kodiak Enterprise post-fire investigation,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson. “Ship fires present unique challenges for fire investigators, particularly in the area of safety, but we are committed to ensuring that we get an accurate account of the origin and cause of this fire in the safest manner possible.”
This is the twelfth NRT activation this fiscal year and the 903rd since the program began in 1978. The NRT is comprised of three regional components, organized geographically to cover the United States. The team 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, to assist local and state law enforcement or fire service personnel.
Past NRT activations include such incidents as: the Nashville “Christmas Day” bombing; more than 200 fire scenes resulting from civil unrest throughout the Midwest in 2020; a series of bombings in Austin, Texas, in 2018; and national-level tragedies such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon; the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta; the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center 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.