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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Contact: Gerod King, ATF Public Information Officer

ATF NRT Arrives in Holly Hill, S.C., to Support Fire Investigation

Investigators Looking into Fire at Three Businesses

Holly Hill, S.C. — The Charlotte Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today called on ATF’s National Response Team (NRT) to begin a joint investigation of the fire that destroyed three commercial buildings Monday morning in Holly Hill, S.C. A team consisting of certified fire investigators, forensic mapping specialists, canine teams, electrical engineers, forensic chemists and special agents arrive in Holly Hill on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, to support the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Holly Hill Police Department, Holly Hill Fire Department, Orangeburg County Fire District and the Orangeburg County Office of Emergency Services in this investigation.

Three commercial buildings were damaged in the fire and none were inhabited at the time of the fire. No serious injuries were reported but the total loss of the multiple buildings is estimated at more than $1 million dollars.

"Investigating a fire of this magnitude requires a number of specialized resources to help determine the origin and cause,” said Charlotte Field Division's Special Agent in Charge Wayne L. Dixie, Jr. “ATF will work in partnership with state and local fire and law enforcement agencies to assist the town of Holly Hill in any way we can.”

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. Past NRT activations include such incidents as a fire that destroyed the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce; an explosion in West Texas that killed 14 people in 2013; a commercial fire in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine firefighters in 2007; and national-level incidents 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. This is the 5th NRT activation this fiscal year and the 820th activation since the inception of the NRT in 1978.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating fires and crimes of arson. More information on ATF can be found at


Charlotte Field Division