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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Public Information Officer SA Alan Gilmore
@ATFPhiladelphia
Tuesday, June 27, 2023

ATF National Response Team Joins Investigation of $1M Philadelphia Structure Fire

WASHINGTON – The Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives called on ATF’s National Response Team to join the investigation of a structure fire that involved three businesses which include a furniture warehouse, an auto repair shop and an auto stereo store. The fire caused more than $1 million in catastrophic damages on June 26 in Philadelphia.

NRT members arrived in Philadelphia today to assist the Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department in this ongoing investigation. The deployed NRT consists of Special Agents, Certified Fire Investigators, Certified Explosives Specialists, Electrical Engineers, Fire Protection Engineers, Forensic Chemists, Intelligence Research Specialists and an Accelerant Detection Canine with handler.

“ATF, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Fire Marshal’s Office, along with assistance from ATF’s National Response Team, is working diligently to determine the origin and cause of the fire,” said Special Agent in Charge Eric Degree.

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.

This is the 16th NRT activation this fiscal year and the 906th since the program began in 1978. The team brings definitive expertise and an array of state-of-the-art equipment to the investigation of major fire and explosives incidents. Three regional components, organized geographically to cover the United States, comprise the NRT. The team can rapidly respond to assist local and state law enforcement or fire service personnel in onsite investigations.

Past NRT activations include such incidents as: 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 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.

The NRT was most recently deployed to South Carolina in May for an apartment complex fire in Columbia.

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

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