Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ATF National Response Team Activated to Carroll County, Georgia Tire Plant Fire

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the request of the Carroll County (Ga.) Fire Rescue Department, the National Response Team (NRT) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), along with ATF special agents from the Atlanta Field Division, have entered into the investigation of a large commercial fire in Bowdon, Georgia. The fire occurred Nov. 16, 2008, at the Carlisle Tire and Wheel Company's 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant located at 500 Wedowee Street. Other agencies responding to the incident include the Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office, Bowdon Police Department and Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

The NRT will begin its work at the scene today, working alongside state and local investigators in reconstructing the scene, identifying the origin of the fire, conducting interviews, and sifting through debris. This will be the fourth NRT activation in fiscal year 2009 and the 662nd activation since the inception of the NRT in 1978.

In 1978, ATF developed the NRT to provide resources to federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant arson and explosives incidents. The NRT consists of four teams 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.

In addition to investigating hundreds of large fire 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 9/11 Pentagon crash site, as well as explosions at explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories and illegal explosives device manufacturing operations.

The teams are each 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. Further complementing the team's efforts are technical, legal and intelligence advisors. Moreover, a fleet of fully equipped response vehicles strategically located throughout the United States is available to provide logistical support.

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