Deadly Biltmore Avenue fire was arson

The July 28 fire that killed Asheville Capt. Jeff Bowen was deliberately set, according to a report just released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Asheville Fire and Police departments, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. No further details are available at this time, and anyone with information about the crime should contact the AFT Arson Hotline (888-ATF-FIRE), the APD’s Crimestoppers hotline (828-255-5050) or the N.C. SBI’s hotline (800-334-3000). For the full release, see below.

from the ATF:

Authorities Determine Fire Was Deliberately Set

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), along with criminal investigators from the Asheville Fire and Police Departments and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI), have determined that the fire on July 28, 2011, at the Medical Office Complex Building, 445 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina, was deliberately set. Asheville Fire Department Captain Jeffrey Scott Bowen was killed and over $20 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).

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 Police Department Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050
NC State Bureau of Investigation at (800) 334-3000

All information will be treated confidentially, and callers will remain anonymous if they request. 

It is the policy of the U.S. Department of Justice and ATF that evidence, investigative technique or any other information related to an on-going investigation, not be released or discussed in the public domain 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.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating explosions and fire.  More information on ATF and its programs is at

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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