The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, today released the cause of the fire that destroyed a part of the Waldo Heights Apartment Complex. The fire, which was reported to the Kansas City Fire Department at approximately 7:00 p.m. on December 28, caused an estimated $2.5 million in damages and displaced dozens of residents. Several residents were injured as they jumped from the third floor of the building to avoid the flames. The fire was investigated by Special Agent/Certified Fire Investigators from ATF’s Kansas City Field Division, ATF’s National Response Team, along with the Kansas City Police Department’s Bomb and Arson Unit and the Kansas City Fire Department’s Fire Investigation’s Unit.
The joint investigation revealed that the fire was intentionally set on the third floor of the building moments before the fire was reported to authorities.
ATF agents and detectives from the Kansas City Police Department’s Bomb and Arson Unit are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person responsible for setting the fire. Anyone with information is asked to the call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or contact the ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS, email [email protected], or contact ATF through its website at www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to ATF by texting ATFKC to 63975 and following the prompts.
This fire was investigated by ATF’s National Response Team (NRT). ATF developed the NRT to bring its expertise to federal, state and local investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant fire incidents. The NRT consists of four teams organized geographically to cover the United States. The teams are each composed of veteran special agents who have extensive post blast and fire origin and cause expertise; forensic chemists; explosives enforcement officers; fire protection engineers; accelerant detection canines and electrical engineers. The team works 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. The team was last deployed to Kansas City to investigate a 2015 fire that killed two Kansas City firemen. That fire was also intentionally set and the arsonist was convicted in the 16th Circuit of Missouri.
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