How is that organized in the US? Is it the department of Homeland security's job to inform local fire departments about dangerous materials stored in their district? That seems a weird way to organize things. I'd expect that to be the job of a state, or even local, department, such as the TDSHS. If I'm not mistaken over here in The Netherlands companies have to report such information directly to the fire department.
I doubt it is organized on a national level. The Department of Homeland Security is pretty broad, ranging from anti-terrorism to national emergency / fire response (including FEMA). While fire safety does seem to fall under the DHS, Fire Departments are organized on a more local scale.
Looking into it more, the main regulations that are getting cited are:
* Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (http://www.dhs.gov/chemical-facility-an ... -standards) -- Standards that ensure that terrorists cannot steal explosives from plants like this. If you're going to be storing that much explosives, you need to ensure that you have a proper level of security guarding it.
* Environmental Protection Agency (According to the report they turned into the EPA: there were no fire / explosion risks)
It also sounds like they weren't following OSHA standards either (Occupational Safety and Health Agency)
Fire-fighters going in without knowing what they are facing is inexcusable. That's really huge screw-up, on several levels. The fire department obviously should have known what is out there, but even if they weren't, they should have noticed this. Someone at the headquarters should have tried to go over those files and noticed they were missing. Finally, presumably there were people at the plant when the fire broke out, and they should have informed the fire department as well.
Of course we don't know if this is the case. But if it turns out to be, and it turns out the plant owners lied to the fire department about what they had, I think murder charges are entirely reasonable.
Murder implies intent to kill. Its probably closer to a "involuntary manslaughter" case. It is clear that major regulations were not followed in this case.