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July 3, 2016

Press Release

Department of Public Safety
Vermont State Police & Division of Fire Safety
Investigators: Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz – VSP; Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Spicer – DFS
Case# 16C302215
Date of Incident: July 3, 2016 @ 6:15 AM
Victims: Deborah Fehr – female age 62, and Rui Rita – male age 47

Summary of Investigation: On July 3, 2016 at approximately 6:15 AM the Pownal Fire Department responded to a 911 call of a barn on fire at 186 Church Street in the Town of Pownal.  Upon arrival the Pownal Fire Department discovered a two story barn completely engulfed in flames.  The barn, probably built in the late 1800’s as a dairy barn, was unoccupied and there were no animals inside of it.  A wooden silo that was very close to the barn was also in flames.  Once the fire was under control, the Pownal Fire Chief, Keith Coon, called the Vermont State Police and Division of Fire Safety for an origin and cause investigation.  Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz – VSP and Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Spicer – DFS, arrived at approximately 10 AM to conduct their investigation.  The investigation revealed an electrical issue in a breaker box and sub-panel inside the barn that most likely contributed to the fire.  The damage to the barn was so extensive the electrical wires could not be traced back to the exact outlet or switch which may have been directly involved in the blaze.  The wooden silo, and the barn, which had an approximate footprint of 40’ x 25’, are considered a total loss.  This fire is not considered suspicious, but anyone with more information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Ambroz of the Vermont State Police at 878-7111, or Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Spicer of the Division of Fire Safety at 885-8883.

Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz
A-Troop Fire Investigation Unit
Williston, VT 05495
Office 802-878-7111
Fax 802-878-2742
todd.ambroz@vermont.gov