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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

September 3, 2013

Contact: PIO Jeff Boshek

(719) 492-4871 (cell)

ATF NRT Activated to Investigate Alexandria Industrial Fire

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team (NRT) along with ATF special agents from the Washington Field Division joined the investigation into the industrial fire that destroyed the DC Foam facility located at 801 South Pickett Street in Alexandria. ATF joined the investigation at the request of the Alexandria Fire Department.

The Alexandria Fire Department responded to the six–alarm building fire and the building quickly became fully involved in fire and a collapse occurred causing more than $1 million in damages and injuring one firefighter. This is the second NRT response to Alexandria in the past two years. The NRT responded to assist with the investigation of the Virginia Theological Seminary fire in 2011.

Agents from the ATF Washington Field Division arrived on scene Monday with the NRT arriving on scene Tuesday. The team is led by Washington Field Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) David Brown and Team Supervisor Steve Cordle of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Arson Enforcement Division (ATAED) of ATF.

"ATF is committed to working alongside its state and local partners bringing its expertise in fire investigation , and additional resources to thoroughly investigate and determine the origin and cause of this fire," said Special Agent in Charge Carl Vasilko, ATF Washington Field Division.

In 1978, ATF developed the NRT to bring its expertise to federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant explosives and arson incidents. The NRT consists of three regions organized geographically to cover the United States. Each team can respond within 24 hours to assist state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in onsite investigations.

The team is composed of veteran special agents who have post–blast and fire origin–and–cause expertise; forensic chemists; explosives enforcement officers; fire protection engineers; accelerant detection canines; explosives detection canines; intelligence support, computer forensic support and audit support. The teams work alongside state and local officers in reconstructing the scene, identifying the seat of the blast or origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris to obtain evidence related to the bombing/arson.

Further complementing the teams’ efforts are technical, legal and intelligence advisers. Moreover, a fleet of fully equipped response vehicles strategically located throughout the United States is available to provide logistical support.

This is the 10th NRT activation in fiscal year 2013 and the 746th since its inception.

In addition to investigating hundreds of scenes, the NRT has also been activated to scenes such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma City federal building bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001, Pentagon crash site, as well as blasts at explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories and illegal explosive device manufacturing operations.

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