• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Update: ATF rules out arson in fatal Pleasanton fire

Updated: Jul 4

PLEASANTON – Investigators for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released a report on Friday that the fire on Monday the gutted the Carpenter Chiropractic Health Center in Pleasanton on Monday night was not arson.


Joshua Haynes, a 35-year-old firefighter with the Pleasanton Rural Fire Department, died as a result of injuries sustained as he and other firefighters were battling the blaze.


John Ham, spokesman for ATF, said investigators concluded the fire was accidental.


"Investigators have determined that this was an accidental fire so there is no on going criminal investigation," Ham said in a statement. "Evidence from the scene has been sent to ATF’s Fire Laboratory for further evaluation. A more detailed cause will be shared at the conclusion of that evaluation."


Services for Haynes are set for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29, at Pleasanton High School. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29, also at the high school.


Ham said after Haynes went down in the structure fellow firefighters quickly rescued Haynes and provided aid until he could be life-flighted to the Kansas University Medical Center. He also said that Haynes left behind a family with four children, and his family has asked for privacy in the wake of his death.


Ham said the fire was called in just before 11 p.m. on Monday. After the fire was brought under control, fire investigators remained on the scene throughout the night into the morning and continued to return to the scene throughout much of the week.


Local sources did indicate that the Pleasanton city fire department was involved in battling the fire along with Linn County Fire Departments from Pleasanton, Mound City, La Cygne and Prescott.


Ham said that the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office requested ATF’s assistance in investigating the fire. So far, there has been no indication of arson, however, investigators plan to revisit the site on Wednesday.

Ham said that although ATF is brought in on fires where arson is suspected, the federal agency is also called in when a firefighter is seriously hurt. He said the agency worked to analyze fires and determine approaches to fighting fires that avoid injuries to firefighters.


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