41°F
Sponsored by

ATF called in to help Salt Lake City Fire determine cause of massive downtown fire

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - For the first time ever the Salt Lake City Fire Department calls in the big guns to help with a fire investigation. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its national response team landed in Utah Tuesday to help comb through what's left of a major downtown construction project.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - For the first time ever the Salt Lake City Fire Department calls in the big guns to help with a fire investigation. The bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its national response team landed in Utah Tuesday to help comb through what's left of a major downtown construction project.

It was going to be an apartment building with 61 units, but Sunday’s fire reduced it to a little more than a pile of burned wood and ash. There's just so much to go through and that's why Salt Lake City Fire has called in the help of the ATF.

The smoke and flames could be spotted for miles. More than 60 firefighters fought the four alarm fire at the construction site of the New House Apartments on 540 East 500 South.

Days after fire investigators still have not been inside, so they have no idea what caused the massive blaze that has now reached damage estimates of two and a half million dollars.

Salt Lake City Fire Spokesperson Jasen Asay told ABC 4 Utah, "We've talked with the building construction owners and they indicated to us that there was no power and there were no heating sources in the building. So it's easy to jump to speculation after that but we don't want to speculate yet."

As a matter of fact, Salt Lake City Fire crews walked through the construction site Saturday, just a day before the fire, and there was nothing to indicate any danger of the coming fire.

"There was nothing that stuck out, nor warnings or red flags,” said Asay.

Now, the building which would have covered 64,000 square feet is a massive scene fire investigators have to comb through to discover a cause. The size and the increasing damage costs is what forced Salt Lake City to call in the big guns.

ATF Special Agent Bradley Beyersdorf told ABC 4 Utah, "ATF has activated a national response team. We're all in route to Salt Lake City right now."

The ATF national response team is made up of veteran forensic chemists, explosive experts and post blast and fire origin and cause experts.

Asay said, "They bring such great resources and great expertise and knowledge in that it's going to be beneficial for everyone involved."

"The end goal is to determine the origin and cause of this fire,” said Beyersdorf.

The construction crew brought a wrecking ball in Monday to tear down the top stories to make it safe for fire investigators to get inside. They were worried that the instability at the top would put them at risk. Investigators are expected to get in to the building first thing Wednesday morning.

Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus
local-businesses.png
cars.png dixie-local.jpg
Comic Con


TV Schedule Sponsored By:

Top Stories

Popular Stories on Facebook