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Masons Furniture Fire Was Intentionally Set

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team (NRT), ATF Columbus Field Division, the Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM), the Circleville police and fire departments investigators have completed the on-scene investigation into the cause of the Sept. 22 blaze at Masons Furniture on N. Court Street in Circleville, OH. The cause of the fire has been determined to be an intentionally set, or arson. The Circleville Herand reported that four suspects have been taken into custody following the break in, theft and fire. Special Agent in Charge Christopher P. Sadowski, ATF Columbus Field Division; State Fire Marshal Michael P. Bell; Chief Wayne Gray Circleville Police Department; and Chief Tim Tener, Circleville Fire Department made the announcement today. "Over the past four days, the team of investigators have taken photographs, recovered potential evidence from the scene for laboratory analysis and conducted over 20 interviews throughout the community. The information developed was reviewed and analyzed to assist in determining the cause of the fire. ATF will continue to provide resources and support to the investigation as this matter moves forward," said Sadowski. "Division of State Fire Marshal and ATF investigators and the Circleville police and fire departments were quick and effective in their investigation of this crime," said Bell. "The efforts by the involved agencies illustrate how important cooperation is in keeping our communities safe and we pledge to continue working on this case until its conclusion." All the investigators extend their appreciation to the neighboring fire departments that provided assistance in fighting the fire. Appreciation was also extended to the businesses and community organizations that provided food and water to the fire fighters and investigators. 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, forensic chemist, origin and cause specialists, electrical and fire protection engineers, and additional specialists. This NRT activation was the 19th this fiscal year and 658th since the inception of the program in 1978. ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction over arson and explosives incidents. More information on ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.

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