Fire probe continues

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LAFD: Investigators seek cause of blaze at New Beginnings Church

By John Severance

The July 4 fire that destroyed the chapel at the New Beginnings Church still is under investigation.

That’s the latest Wednesday from the Los Alamos County Fire Department, New Mexico State Fire Marshal Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

All three organizations are still in the process of conducting an investigation into the origin and cause of the fire located at 112 East Road.

According to a LAFD press release, the fire is still classified as under investigation and information is still being gathered and processed.

“The process of fire investigation is complex and takes time an

resources to come to a conclusion of what took place before and during the event,” the release states.

“We are as curious as everybody else,” LAFD deputy chief Justin Grider said.

If anyone should have any information regarding the incident contact the Los Alamos County Fire Marshal Office at 662-8301.  
New Beginnings pastor Shawn Amburgey said services will continue to be held at the Christian Church at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The fire began in the morning of July 4. It was Amburgey’s mother-in-law and daughter, who discovered the fire. They quickly notified Amburgey, who then called 911.
 “I had no idea where it started,” Amburgey said earlier this month. “I just saw the smoke coming down the hallway.”
The Los Alamos Fire Department, which has a station just across the street, was there in a minute. Other LAFD units rolled in and the Los Alamos Police Department was there to monitor the traffic and help in the investigation.
The State Fire Marshall was called in and eventually so was the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). And when the ATF is usually called in, that is when there are fires involving churches and if arson may be suspected.
Speculation is rampant that either it was an electrical fire or it could possibly be arson.
State and federal officials completed the physical part of their evidence gathering two days after the fire and some of the evidence was sent out for further testing. Fire officials are still waiting on those results.
Officials, as well, have been mum on the cause and they won’t even tell Amburgey.
“We still don’t know the cause,” Amburgey said Wednesday.