Crime

Investigation into Grand Hotel fire in Hazard continues

Firefighters worked to extinguish a fire in the building that housed the Peking Chinese Restaurant on Main Street in Hazard, Ky. Tuesday morning September 1, 2015. Photo Credit: Erin Joseph/The Hazard-Herald
Firefighters worked to extinguish a fire in the building that housed the Peking Chinese Restaurant on Main Street in Hazard, Ky. Tuesday morning September 1, 2015. Photo Credit: Erin Joseph/The Hazard-Herald The Hazard-Herald

A federal team helping investigate a fire in Hazard that left dozens homeless has finished its work at the scene, but authorities have not yet determined what caused the blaze, according to a news release.

The fire destroyed the old Grand Hotel, which was built in 1921 but was divided into apartments and commercial spaces years ago. About 50 people lived at the building.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent one of its national response teams to help sift through the charred remains of the building.

The teams include electrical engineers, forensic chemists and other investigators who try to find the origin and cause of fires and collect evidence for a criminal prosecution if necessary. The response team is finished at the scene, ATF announced Thursday.

Authorities continue to investigate, the release said. Other agencies involved in the investigation include the state fire marshal's office, Kentucky State Police, Hazard police and the Hazard Fire Department.

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