GLADEWATER, Texas — A specialized fire investigation team from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrived in Gladewater, Texas, today, to assist with a structure fire that occurred at about 10 p.m. in the historical portion of the downtown area Wednesday.
About 15 special agents and other experts with the National Response Team (NRT) were activated at the request of the Gregg County Fire Marshal's Office to join the investigation of a fire that collapsed a structure at 109 N. Main Street in Gladewater.
Over the next several days, certified fire investigators and other experts will work alongside local investigators to sift through debris, reconstruct the scene, collect evidence, conduct interviews and attempt to identify an origin and cause of the fire.
“ATF's National Response Team, Special Agents from the Dallas Field Division, and the Tyler Field Office will be working hand in hand with personnel from the Gregg County Fire Marshal's Office and our state and local law enforcement partners in an effort to determine the cause of this destructive fire that has significantly impacted the community of Gladewater,” said Dallas Field Division’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge Vincent Pallozzi.
ATF is the sole federal agency with experience and resources to investigate fires and crimes of arson in the U.S. and its territories. The primary mission of the NRT is to concentrate ATF explosives and fire investigative resources and expertise on large-scale and complex incidents due to the size, scope or number of victims.
Since its inception in 1978, the NRT has deployed 802 times. This is the fifth call out for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which began Oct. 1. NRT deployed 25 times in FY 2016, which spanned Oct. 1, 2015-Sept. 30, 2016.