Wash. Furniture Manufacturers Fire Ruled an Arson

November 14, 2005

Fire investigators have determined that the Oct. 30 fire that caused an estimated $3.5 million in damages to the Modern Furniture Manufacturers in Arlington, Washington was intentionally set, Special Agent in Charge Phillip Durham of the National Response Team, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Chief Jim Rankin, Arlington Fire Department and Chief John Gray, Arlington Police Department, announced.

More than 30 ATF agents, including 18 members of ATF’s National Response Team, have been working on the cause of the fire with investigators from the Arlington Police and Fire Departments and the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office.

“The fire scene is about the size of a football field and was completely destroyed,” said Durham. “The process used to determine that the fire was intentionally set included a very systematic approach to collecting and analyzing evidence.”

ATF, the federal law enforcement agency with expertise and jurisdiction for investigating arson, was requested to assist due to the size and significance of the fire.

“Now that we have determined the fire was intentionally set, the Arlington Fire Department is committed to working cooperatively with our fire and law enforcement partners,” emphasized Rankin.

“The ATF agents stationed in Seattle will continue this criminal investigation with the Arlington Police Department,” said Special Agent in Charge Kelvin N. Crenshaw of ATF’s Seattle Field Division. “Arson is a crime of violence and ATF is committed to investigating all leads in an effort to reach a successful conclusion.”

“We will have a better chance of solving this crime if we work in cooperation with the community,” says Gray. “If anyone has information regarding this fire, I encourage you to call 1-888-ATF-FIRE.”

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