Photo by Katy Brooks
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the city of Asheville and Asheville–Buncombe Crime Stoppers are offering a combined reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for setting the fire at the Medical Office Complex Building, 445 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, according to a news release by the ATF
Fire Department Captain Jeffery Scott Bowen was killed and over $10 million in damage occurred as a result of the fire.
The investigation is being conducted jointly by ATF, the Asheville Police and Fire departments and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI).
It is the policy of the U.S. Department of Justice and ATF to refrain from releasing or discussing in the public domain any evidence, investigative technique or any other information related to an on–going investigation until all judicial activity has been completed. In compliance with that policy this news release will stand on its own without any additional investigation related information being added as a result of follow up media inquiries.
Anyone with information about this crime is strongly encouraged to contact these agencies at the following numbers:
ATF Arson Hotline at (888) ATF FIRE or (888) 283–8477
Asheville–Buncombe Crime Stoppers at (828) 255–5050
NC State Bureau of Investigation at (800) 334–3000
Asheville Police Department (828) 252–1110
All information will be treated confidentially, and callers will remain anonymous if they request.
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating explosions and fire. More information on ATF and its programs is at www.atf.gov.
For more on the fire, see coverage of the event
The police incident report lists “used pass key” as the method of entry but also said the entry was “forcible,” according to an article in the Asheville Citizen-Times. It listed the weapons and tools used as “chemicals/acids.”