Downtown Mount Vernon Fire

Oct 29, 2010, 16:23 ET from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


MT. VERNON, Ohio, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --   The National Response Team (NRT) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), ATF Columbus Field Division, Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal, and Mount Vernon Fire and Police Department investigators have completed the on-scene investigation into the cause of the Oct. 25th fire at 201 S. Main Street, Mt. Vernon.

The cause of the blaze was ruled to be undetermined announced Christopher P. Sadowski, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Columbus Field Division; Don Cooper, Interim Ohio State Fire Marshal; Michael K. Merrilees, Chief, Mt. Vernon Police Department; and Shawn Christy, Chief, Mt. Vernon Fire Department.  

Because the unstable nature of the fire scene presented hazardous conditions for investigators, an extensive on scene examination was not possible   Based on the limited scene examination the investigators determined the fire started in the basement. Investigators found no evidence at the fire scene indicating criminal intent.

The ATF National Response Team departed Delaware today.

"Columbus ATF agents will continue to work with investigators of the State Fire Marshal's office and the Mt. Vernon Police and Fire Departments conducting interviews and gathering information.  I extend my appreciation to the Central Ohio Strike Team that stood ready to conduct rescue operations for investigators working in the fire damaged structure should structure conditions deteriorate," said Sadowski.

The 201 S. Main Street building has now been turned over to city officials.  South Main Street and Gambier Street will remain closed as the city assesses the stability and safety of the structure.

ATF's NRT, comprising ATF personnel from across the country, responded to the scene to work alongside state and local investigators.  The NRT includes a canine team, certified fire investigators, forensic chemist, electrical and fire protection engineers, and additional specialists.  This NRT activation was the 4th this fiscal year.

Contact:  Special Agent Kim Riddell

ATF PIO (614) 827-8474

Shane Cartmill, SFM PIO

(614) 752-7179

SOURCE Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives