Federal Officials Looking For Clues in Brownstown Tavern Fire
Federal investigators are working this week after a fire destroyed the Brownstown Tavern early Saturday. Authorities say the fire happened 3 days after the owner testified in a murder trial stemming from a killing in 2019. Firefighters from Yakima County Fire District 5 were called to the blaze at about 4:40 a.m. Saturday. The tavern is located at 3060 Brownstown Road and had been open for decades. When firefighters arrived they say the fire had engulfed the business. Firefighters basically had to pull back and pour water on the flames as the business burned.
Because the owner, Tim Castilleja had recently testified in the Federal murder trial of Jordan Stevens accused of killing a woman in May of 2019 officials from FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are now involved in looking for clues and a suspect or suspects.
An article in the Yakima Herald Republic says investigators believe someone was living in an apartment in the tavern when the fire started but that person hasn't been found. It's not clear if it was the owner or another person who was living in the tavern.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.
According to the website for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;
"ATF Certified Fire Investigators (CFIs) are special agents with highly specialized training in investigating arson-related crimes. They rapidly deploy to fire scenes to identify, collect and analyze arson-related evidence, and act as the lead criminal investigator for field operations. As arson experts, CFIs conduct research to identify current and potential future trends based on major fire-related cases.
CFIs work closely with members of the U.S. Fire Administration, the National Fire Protection Association, insurance companies, and other professional arson investigation organizations in the private sector on arson-related investigations. ATF currently has 105 CFIs stationed in 25 field divisions, numerous field and satellite offices, and international offices."