BALTIMORE — Special Agent in Charge William McMullan of the Baltimore Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced the activation of the ATF National Response Team (NRT) at the request of Anne Arundel County Fire Department to assist in the investigation of the Jan. 19 residential fire that occurred at 936 Childs Point Rd., Annapolis, Md.
"ATF is committed to using our resources in conjunctio¬n with our state and local partners to determine the cause and origin of this devastating fire,” said McMullan.
This ATF NRT activation is the 6th in fiscal year 2015 and the 764th since the NRT inception in 1978. ATF developed the NRT to assist 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 join state and local law enforcement /fire service personnel in onsite investigations.
The NRT has been used predominately in the investigation of commercial fires; it has been activated to assist with residential fires, the scene of the West, Texas fertilizer fire and explosion; as well as explosives and ammunition manufacturing plants, legal fireworks factories, and illegal explosive 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.
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 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.