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October 31, 2016

Fire

VSP Press Release-Incident

STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE

PRESS RELEASE
       
CASE#:  16D303519
TROOPER:   Detective Sergeant Larry Smith                            
STATION:   Fire Investigation Unit                   
CONTACT#:  802-748-3111

DATE/TIME: 10/31/2016 @ 1015 hours
LOCATION: 6363 Vt Rt 66 E. Randolph, Vt.
VIOLATION: Reckless Endangerment

ACCUSED:   Gregoire, Jason (06/14/86)                                          

AGE: 30
E. Randolph, Vt.



SUMMARY OF INCIDENT: On September 4, 2016 the Department of Public Safety Fire
Investigation Unit was contacted concerning a residential fire located at the
above address. Members of the unit to include Det Sgt. Larry Smith, Det Sgt.
Todd Ambroz and DFS Investigator Stan Baranowski responded tot he scene to
conduct and origin and cause investigation. The fire was reported at
approximately 2100 hours and required a multiple department response. The
structure was deemed a total loss. There was no one home at the time and no
injuries were reported. The home belonged to that of Jason and Hazel Gregoire
from E. Randolph. Jason was currently a member of the Randolph Volunteer Fire
Department at the time of the fire. With this in mind, the fire chief made the
decision to contact the police to have the fire investigated to avoid any
appearance of favoritism. The fire was not deemed suspicious at the time but
based on the amount of damage, an investigation was requested.

During the initial investigation of the scene, the area of origin was determined
to be in the living room area of the house near a center support wall. This
determination came after several hours of on scene sight work along with work
from an excavator. Interviews were also conducted of the home owners while on
scene. The fire was initially ruled as undetermined while the investigation
continued.

Based on follow up interviews conducted by Sgt. Smith and Investigator
Baranowski, on October 20, 2016 home owner Jason Gregoire was charged with
reckless endangerment. Jason confessed to setting the fire so he and his family
could move out of Vermont to New York where they could obtain better services
for their Autistic son. The Gregoire's advised they were frustrated with the
school system and what they felt was a lack of services and felt they were left
with no other alternatives but to destroy the house and move away. No claim was
made against the insurance company and no other property was destroyed during
the fire other than that owned by the Gregoire's. No injuries were reported and
no other relevant environmental hazards were identified.

Based on Jason's membership and experience with the fire service he understood
the inherent risk associated with fighting structure fires. Jason admitted he
was away of the obvious risk associated with fighting fires along with the
unforeseen risk that are created when a house burns. Based on this, Jason was
cited for reckless endangerment for recklessly placing the lives of fellow fire
fighter sin danger when he knowingly set his house on fire. Jason was cited to
appear in the Orange County Court for the above violation.


COURT ACTION: Y
COURT DATE:            
COURT:  Orange Co.



Detective Sergeant Larry Smith
Vermont State Police
Fire Investigation Unit
Troop B
Office # 802-748-3111 Ext. 2525
Cell # 802-399-9406