3/5/17. Email this am from citizen reporter Tim Doody:
A branch of federal law enforcement division – Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms – has set up
a multi-truck crime lab on Seaview Avenue. The text on one of the trucks reads “Explosives and Fire Investigation”
Blogfinger will look into this further. Stay tuned.
1:00 pm. Tim: Our block is filled with federal agents from as far away as New Orleans. Everything you need to know is written in the sides of vehicles and on their uniforms. There is a tractor trailer set up on the block. It is a mobile crime scene unit. News helicopters are overhead.
1:15 pm. From Blogfinger reporter Prosper Bellizia: When I went by the scene this morning I ran into ATF Agent Hermann and I asked him if the fire was suspicious. He answered, “We’ll find out in a few days.”
1:30 pm Blogfinger has received reliable information regarding the federal presence this morning. ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) has a specialized squad which investigates possible arson. We have learned that there is a suspicion of a potential pattern/connection involving the large suspicious fires that have occurred in recent years in Ocean Grove.
Here is a link to our 3/3/17 article about the similar circumstances surrounding the 3 fires where hotels and condominiums have been involved, with all fires occurring in February or March, usually on Fridays or Saturday.
Our source says that there has been some speculation/discussion that there may be a serial arsonist, so that suspicion would explain the presence of ATF which performs criminal investigations.