Downtown Indianapolis fire was intentionally set

The National Response Team (NRT) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), ATF Columbus Field Division, the Indianapolis Fire and Metropolitan Police Departments and the Indiana State Fire Marshal investigators completed the on-scene investigation into the cause of the March 12th fire at the Cosmopolitan on the Canal located in Indianapolis.

Christopher P. Sadowski, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Columbus Field Division, Brian Sanford, Chief, Indianapolis Fire Department, Michael Spears, Chief, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and James Greeson, Indiana Fire Marshal announced that the blaze was ruled arson. Specific information regarding the fire and investigation will not be released as the investigation into the criminal act is continuing.

The team of investigators have taken photographs, recovered potential evidence from the scene for laboratory analysis, and conducted over 30 interviews throughout the community. The ATF National Response Team will depart Indianapolis today.

“The information developed was reviewed and analyzed to assist in determining the cause of the fire. The evidence will be analyzed by the ATF National Laboratory. Indianapolis ATF agents will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with Indianapolis police and fire investigators to investigate this crime,” said Sadowski.

All the investigators extended their appreciation to the people of Indianapolis and the local businesses that brought food, coffee and support for the fire fighters and police officers during a very difficult night fighting the fire.

ATF’s NRT, comprised of ATF personnel from across the country, responded to the scene to work alongside state and local investigators. The NRT includes a canine team, certified fire investigators, forensic chemist, electrical and fire protection engineers, and additional specialists. This NRT activation was the 14th this fiscal year and 672nd since the 1978 inception of the NRT program.

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