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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

October 19, 2011

Contact: Franceska Perot, Ph.D.

ATF Special Agent, PIO

Office: 281-716-8207

Cell: 281-914-8124

ATF and Fire Marshals Conclude Investigation at Garden Ridge Fire

Fire Ruled as Intentionally Set

CONROE, TX – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Dewey Webb along with the City of Conroe Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Craig and the Montgomery County Fire Marshal James Williams are announcing that the conclusion of the scene investigation at the Garden Ridge Pottery fire that occurred on Oct. 12. All agencies are in agreement that the blaze was intentionally set. At this time they will not release additional details on the specific origin and cause of the fire as a criminal investigation is on-going.

The loss of the 110,000 square foot store is estimated at $15,000,000. Various components of the ATF National Response Team and the Fire Marshals have been on the scene since the fire began and finished processing the scene today. The information developed was reviewed and analyzed to assist in determining the origin and cause of the fire.

Local ATF special agents will continue to work in partnership on the investigation with the Fire Marshal’s Offices in Conroe and Montgomery County until the individual(s) responsible are brought to justice said Webb.

Many agencies participated in the scene investigation at this fire. Some of them include the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, the Conroe Fire Department, the Conroe Police Department, Fort Bend County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Houston Arson Bureau.

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