Criminal Justice News

Friday, September 02, 2016

ATF Activates National Response Team to Fishkill, NY



FISHKILL, N.Y. - The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) New York Field Division requested the activation of the ATF National Response Team (NRT) to assist and support the New York State Police (NYSP), New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (NYSOFPC), Dutchess County Fire Investigation Division (DCFID), Dutchess County Emergency Response (DCER), and Fishkill Fire Department (FFD) in the investigation of a fire that occurred at a warehouse distribution center for Gap Inc. at 110 Merritt Boulevard in the Village of Fishkill, N.Y.

The ATF NRT’s primary mission is to concentrate ATF explosives and fire investigative resources and expertise on large-scale incidents, or on more complex investigations due to the size, scope, or number of victims as a result of the incident. The NRT provides an immediate and sustained nationwide response capability, typically deploying within 24 hours of notification, with state-of-the-art equipment and the most qualified ATF personnel available.

Agents from the ATF New York Field Division’s Arson and Explosives Group have been on scene since the onset of the incident and have been assisting with the ongoing investigation. The group comprises several specialists to include Certified Fire Investigators (CFIs), highly trained special agents who provide technical support, analysis, and assistance in fire origin and cause determination for fire investigations. ATF CFIs are a field division’s primary resource in fire and arson-related investigations. The NRT will supplement the ATF New York Field Division with additional personnel to include forensic mapping specialists, fire protection engineers, electrical engineers, and forensic chemists.

In addition to the New York Field Division and the NRT, the expertise of the ATF Forensic Science Laboratory and the ATF Fire Research Laboratory are available to contribute to fire investigations.

“ATF will make available all of our specialized resources as we work hand-inhand with our state and local counterparts to help determine the cause and origin of the fire,” said ATF New York Acting Special Agent in Charge James S. Higgins.

Since its inception in 1978, the NRT has deployed 796 times. This is the 24th call out for Fiscal Year 2016, which began Oct. 1, 2015. Past NRT activations include such New York Field Division incidents as an explosion in West, Texas, that killed 14 people in 2013; the spree of 10 arsons at churches in Texas in 2010; a commercial fire in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine firefighters in 2007; 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.

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