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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 17, 2017
Contact: Jason Chudy

ATF NRT Arrives to Investigate Anchorage Apartment Fire

SEATTLE — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced that its National Response Team (NRT) has joined the investigation into the apartment complex fire at 3811 Minnesota Drive in Anchorage, Alaska, that killed two people and injured at least 16 others Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017.

The Anchorage Fire Department requested the NRT, which began the on-scene investigation.

Over the next several days, certified fire investigators and other experts will work alongside local investigators to sift through debris, reconstruct the scene, collect evidence, conduct interviews and attempt to identify an origin and cause of the fire.

“The Seattle Field Division agents and National Response Team bring a wealth of specialized expertise to the scene,” said Special Agent in Charge Darek Pleasants. “We are working closely with our Anchorage Police and Fire Department partners to support the investigation.”

Seattle Field Division’s area of responsibility includes Alaska.

ATF is the sole federal agency with experience and resources to investigate fires and crimes of arson in the United States and its territories. The primary mission of the NRT is to concentrate ATF explosives and fire investigative resources and expertise on large-scale and complex incidents due to the size, scope or number of victims.

Since its inception in 1978, the NRT has deployed 805 times. NRT has deployed 8 times in fiscal year 2017, which began Oct. 1, 2016.

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Seattle Field Division