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ATF agents join investigation into Kearny Mesa auto warehouse fire

Posted at 2:43 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 20:24:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Federal agents have been added to the investigation of a Kearny Mesa fire that gutted an off-roading business early Thursday morning.

About 25 agents with National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) out of Los Angeles were requested by San Diego Fire-Rescue to assist with the probe.

The NRT agents will arrive Friday and begin processing the scene at Off Road Warehouse Saturday, according to the ATF. They join other officials with ATF Los Angeles, SDFD, and the San Diego Police in the investigation.

RELATED: Animals rescued as fire burns Kearny Mesa off road business

NRT personnel are called in to help investigate significant fire, arson, or explosion incidents, the ATF said.

The fire comes five months after another fire ignited in November 2018. That fire, however, was reportedly ruled as an electrical fire.

“ATF is committed to working alongside state and local law enforcement by bringing its resources to determine the origin and cause of this fire that resulted in a total loss for this business,” said Carlos Canino, the special agent in charge of ATF Los Angeles Field Division. “ATF will provide whatever is necessary to thoroughly investigate and provide answers.”

Thursday's blaze was reported at about 1:30 a.m. at the ORW building (7915 Balboa Ave.) The fire caused an estimated $3.5 million in damages and the warehouse's contents were deemed a total loss.

No injuries were reported. The fire also forced the evacuation of several cats and dogs at the nearby Balboa Veterinary Hospital.