Full announcement below:
ASHEVILLE – The City of Asheville is issuing the following information about the investigation into a fatal fire that occurred on July 28, in response to multiple media requests.
The fire, which investigators determined to have been deliberately set, claimed the life of Asheville Fire Department Capt. Jeffrey Bowen, 37. Several other firefighters were injured in the blaze.
The investigation is being undertaken by several agencies concentrating on different facets.
The following is a breakdown of the involved agencies and their roles in this investigation.
North Carolina Department of Labor, Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (N.C. OSHA):
Workplace fatalities are reported to N.C. OSHA, which then investigates to determine the cause of the event, whether a violation of OSHA safety and health standards or the general duty clause occurred, and any effect the violation had on the accident.
Web site: http://www.nclabor.com/osha/osh.htm
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):
The Asheville Fire Department is voluntarily participating in a NIOSH investigation. NIOSH conducts investigations of firefighter line-of-duty deaths to formulate recommendations for preventing future deaths and injuries. The program does not seek to determine fault or place blame on fire departments or individual fire fighters, but to learn from these tragic events and prevent future similar events.
Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/
The Asheville Fire Department and the Asheville Police Department are assisting the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) in the criminal investigation.
Per the ATF, “It is the policy of the U.S. Department of Justice and ATF that evidence, investigative technique or any other information related to an ongoing investigation, not be released or discussed in the public domain until all judicial activity has been completed.”
The City of Asheville is operating in accordance with the ATF’s directives in this case, as related to the release of case information.
“A line-of-duty death is one of the most difficult investigations we have to conduct,” Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette said. “A thorough investigation requires a lot of time and effort as we work to identify and document the facts, as precisely as they can be determined.”
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