ATF joins St. Cloud Press Bar fire investigation

The National Response Team for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has joined the on-scene investigation at the Press Bar fire in St. Cloud.

According to a release from the ATF, they are joining the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire that destroyed the historic building. 

The ATF's assistance was requested by the St. Cloud Fire Department due to the size of the building and amount of damage which is estimated to be in excess of $1,000,000. 

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"ATF's involvement in this investigation is strictly as a support role," said Special Agent in Charge William Terry Henderson, of the Saint Paul Field Division of the ATF. "This was a large fire and the extra personnel will help move this investigation along more quickly. We have nearly 25 ATF national response team members activated for this investigation in addition to our local team of special agents." 

The investigation will require that the 10 block of 5th Avenue South be closed to vehicle traffic with limited pedestrian traffic on the south end of the block, according to Fire Chief Dean Wrobbel, St. Cloud Fire Department. It is not known at this time how long the closure will be necessary.

This is the sixth ATF National Response Team activation this fiscal year and the 853rd activation since the inception of the NRT in 1978. The NRT was last in Minnesota in January 2004 at the Club Metro Building in St. Paul according to the release.