Federal ATF agents to assist in Little Rock church fire investigation

    7:25 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - With no answers as to how a devastating fire took down a Little Rock church, national assistance has arrived. ATF agents traveled to Little Rock Wednesday to help investigate the blaze at First Baptist Church at Highland Park.

    The entire roof of the church caved in Sunday morning and covered what could be evidence. Now the main task is to move the debris, so investigators can file through what's left and look for clues.

    "At this point we don't know the cause or the origin of the fire. There's been some speculation, but at this point we don't know anything," said Wade Rasberry, ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

    Rasberry traveled from New Orleans to help out in the investigation. He said another 20 federal agents will join him to scan the site and look for answers.

    "We can bring in people and get things done with in conjunction of the fire department in hours and days rather than weeks," said Rasberry.

    Not only will ATF agents scan the destroyed church looking for evidence, they will go door to door to speak with neighbors and ask if they saw anything suspicious.

    "Maybe neighbors saw something that they didn't think was significant, but maybe it really is, so there will be people, investigators, knocking on doors. You know, 'Hey, how you doing? Can I talk to you a minute?' Maybe they saw something. Maybe they didn't see anything," explained Rasberry.

    The structural damage to the church is estimated at $1.5 million. THV 11 spoke with the pastor on Sunday, and he said other churches in the area have already reached out in support and opened their doors.

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