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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

ATF: Fatal fire was 'electrical in nature'

A memorial for firefighter Josh Haynes sits in front of the gutted Carpenter Chiropractic Health Center in Pleasanton. (Photo by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)

MOUND CITY – Linn County Fire Chief Randy Hegwald met with the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, June 27, to talk with them about fallen firefighter Josh Haynes.

Hegwald read a statement by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which had investigated the fire where Haynes had lost his life.

Hegwald read:

“The ATF brought in members of the fire explosion national response team at the request of the office of the State Fire Marshall. An extremely comprehensive investigation was conducted in the origin and causes of that fire. The investigation found that the fire was not intentionally set. As such, there is no ongoing criminal investigation at this time.

“ATF has concluded the on scene investigation of the building and the building was released to Dr. Carpenter. Though not yet released to the public, the investigators believe that the fire was electrical in nature. We have sent several items to the ATF national laboratory for further analysis A final origin and cause report will be released upon completion of the lab review.”

Hegwald requested that the county offices be closed on Wednesday so that county employees and officials can attend Haynes funeral and also that the county commission would draft a resolution that would allow the Linn County Fire Department to permanently retire Haynes radio number 9203 from the Linn County Fire Department so it could never be used again.

Hegwald thanked all of the firefighters, other county departments and everybody in the community that has been assisting and helping honor Josh in the way that he needs to be honored during this time.

The county requested and were approved by the governor to fly the flag at half staff and made a motion that employees could attend the funeral and individual department heads could close the departments if necessary.

The commissioners approved retiring Haynes radio number.

Hegwald said that he had received an email from the National Fallen Firefighters in Maryland where they flew flags at half staff the other day for Haynes.

American Medical Response (AMR) Galen Anderson said that he had been working with the fire department to coordinate a helicopter flyover for Haynes funeral.

Anderson said he wanted to give a shout out at the folks who had been involved with coordinating everything that needs to happen. When something tragic likes this happens it is just evident that there is a lot of care and professionalism and kindness and it’s been great to see, he said.

Commissioner Danny McCullough said that he would like to thank Scott Lamaster with the Taking it to the Streets organization which set up portable toilets and served barbecue for the investigators, Pastor Chris Pinion, and Sheriff Kevin Friend for their help.

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