Human remains recovered from fire

Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Response Team, Pennsylvania State Police, and Chester County Fire Marshal’s office have located the remains of two individuals inside the Barclay Friends Senior Center at 700 North Franklin Street in West Chester. Investigators initially located the remains of the first victim in the late morning hours and then the second victim later in the afternoon on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The remains were transported from the scene by the Chester County Coroner and the families of the four missing residents were notified.

Investigators are still in the process of conducting an origin and cause investigation of the fire and it is expected to continue throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. A large crane and other excavating equipment has been brought to the scene and begun removing large sections of fire debris early this morning. Efforts to locate the two remaining missing residents will continue tomorrow morning.

“The thoughts and prayers of the men and women of ATF are with the families of the victims during this difficult time. Their losses only strengthen our resolve to provide answers to them as a result of our investigation of this tragedy” said Special Agent in Charge Donald Robinson.

ATF’s NRT, along with special agents from the ATF Philadelphia Field Division, were activated to respond to the 5-alarm fire at the Barclay Friends Senior Assisted Living Center. The fire occurred at approximately 10:45 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. First responders from West Chester and surrounding fire departments in the area arrived on scene shortly after the first call was made to 911 assisting with the evacuation of approximately 160 residents and staff members. The NRT arrived on scene Saturday morning to start processing the fire scene and determine the origin and cause once the building was secured and hot spots extinguished. The fire investigation is being worked in coordination with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office, Pennsylvania State Police, West Chester Police Department, Chester County Sheriff’s Office and Chester County Department of Emergency Services.

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