Federal Investigators Probe Albuquerque (NM) Fire

KOB: A highly specialized federal team is in town to investigate how and where an Albuquerque warehouse fire started. The blaze, which started Wednesday near downtown, is still smoldering. Federal officials say the massive fire will cost upwards of $10 million. On Saturday, a national response team with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, helped the Albuquerque Fire Department determine whether it was safe to go inside the complex. The ATF team comprises 12 to 15 special agents, forensic lab technicians and structural engineers from all over the country. Officials said ATF has only four national response teams that investigate fires across the nation; a fifth team works internationally. "It's a multitude of talents, so to speak and resources that state and local fire departments don't have," said Jim Needles, the ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge. Federal agents and Albuquerque disconnected utilities and used a massive crane to get a bird's eye view of the building to survey damage Saturday. They hope to enter the building Sunday to look at burn patterns and structural damage. Federal officials say they still don't know how or where the fire started.

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