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Arson Case Briefs

provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
for more information on this Brief, contact:
ATF, Arson and Explosive Programs Division - (202) 927-7930

Speedline Manufacturing Company, Inc.
Amsterdam, NY
August 16, 1993

A. IN: 63110-93-1125K

B. CASE AGENT: John F. Morgan


D. PHONE: (518) 431-4182

E. PROSECUTOR: Robert Storch


On August 16, 1993, a fire destroyed the business premises of Speedline Manufacturing Company, Inc., in Amsterdam, New York. The blaze completely consumed the four-story building, which housed a corrugated cardboard processing plant.


United States Code

Title 18, Section 844(I), Arson
Title 18, Section 1341, Mail Fraud


1. The fire was discovered by the owner of a neighboring business, who observed smoke coming from a loading dock door along the west portion of the building. Upon the arrival of the City of Amsterdam Fire Department, it was noted that all doors and windows into the building were locked and secure.

2. A comprehensive fire scene examination was initiated, involving investigators from the ATF National Response Team, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, New York State Insurance Fraud Bureau, and City of Amsterdam Police and Fire Departments.

3. The origin and cause investigation identified the fire as being incendiary. All accidental fire causes were examined and eliminated. In addition, it was discovered that the building's sprinkler system had been turned off prior to the owner's departure from the building.

4. When questioned about the fire sprinkler system's inactive status, the owner stated that he had accidentally struck a sprinkler head with a metal pipe.

On May 25, 1994, ATF agents in the Honolulu Field Office arrested the owner on Federal arson, conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud charges while she was on vacation in Honolulu. The second torch was arrested by San Francisco ATF agents at his residence in Petaluma, California. The second torch also agreed to fully cooperate with the investigation.

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