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ATF Team Arrives To Help Investigate Massive Inferno At South San Jose Home Depot

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A team from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrived Wednesday to help investigate the massive fire that gutted a Home Depot store in South San Jose last week.

"Our focus is to provide our investigative assistance on the fire scene analysis to the San José Fire Department," said Patrick Gorman, Special Agent in Charge of the agency's San Francisco Field Division. "ATF approaches these scenes without any preconceptions about what may have happened, and we allow the evidence to guide us to a conclusion."

San Jose Fire Chief Robert Sapien Jr. said, "Agents from SJFD and ATF will work collaboratively and expeditiously to gather witness statements and thoroughly investigate the cause of the fire."

Firefighters were called to the store located at 920 Blossom Hill Road around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The fire quickly grew to five-alarms, triggering a response by more than 100 firefighters and sent a massive cloud into the sky that was visible for miles.

A shelter-in-place was ordered for the nearby neighborhood. The fire continued to smolder the following day and into Monday. No injuries were reported.

"With the amount of material in the building and the variety of material, there is tremendous potential for people to get burned, things to fall on people and thankfully that wasn't the case," Battalion Chief Bennett Yendrey said Sunday.

Fire officials said that the first call came in regarding a fire in the store's southeast corner where the lumber area is but noted that might not be where the fire started.

According to the ATF, the team is comprised of veteran special agents including fire investigators, explosive specialists, fire protection engineers, chemists, forensic mappers and accelerant detection canine teams.

Anyone with information about the fire can contact the ATF by calling 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473), visiting or by using the "reportit" app. Tips can remain confidential.

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