Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

July 20, 2009

Contact: Tom Crowley

Special Agent, PIO

Cell: (214) 435-5226

ATF, Parmer County Sheriff’s Office And The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office Conclude Scene Investigation At Fire

FARWELL, Texas — The National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Parmer County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office today announced that they have completed the scene investigation into the fire at the Cal-Maine egg production plant in Farwell, located in Palmer County.

“The investigators determined that the cause of the fire is accidental,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ken Chisholm.

Employee interviews and evidence found at the scene revealed that the fire was started by a welder’s torch in the southwest corner of building #3. A contract employee was doing repair work at the time.

The fire was investigated jointly by the Parmer County Sheriff’s and the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Offices. More than 20 agents and team members from the NRT flew in to respond to the fire; and were supplemented by local ATF agents from the Lubbock Field Office. The NRT started the scene investigation on Wednesday morning, July 15.

The NRT brings its expertise to federal, state, and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant arson and explosives incidents. The NRT is organized geographically to cover the United States, and can respond within 24 hours to assist state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in on-site investigations. This was the NRT’s 20th activation this year and the 678th activation since its inception.

More information about ATF and its programs is available at