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January 4, 2017

PRESS RELEASE/VERMONT STATE POLICE/17B300025/FIRE FATALITY

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

VERMONT STATE POLICE

 

PRESS RELEASE

       

CASE#: 17B300025

TROOPER: Det./Sgt. Thomas Williams, Det./Sgt. Steve Otis, and DFS Investigator Josh Maxham, Detective Larry Cole (BPD)                             

STATION: Rutland                    

CONTACT#: (802)773-9101

 

DATE/TIME: 01/03/17 approximately 1823 hrs.

LOCATION: 814 Gage St. Apt. 20 (Cora B. Whitney Apts.) Bennington, VT.

VIOLATION: Accidental Fire/ Fatality Resulting

 

ACCUSED:   NA                                             

AGE:

CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE:

 

VICTIM: Charlotte A. Morrill

AGE: 79

CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Bennington, VT.

 

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:  On 01/03/17 at approximately 1823 hrs. the Bennington Fire Department responded to a report of a fire alarm at the above address.  Upon arrival the Fire Chief Jeff Vickers located an alarm activation in the hall area of apartment 20 and also noted a light smoke condition in the hallway.  Entry was made into the apartment where the victim was located.  She was removed from the apartment and transported by Bennington Rescue Squad to the Southern Vermont Medical Center.  The victim had second and third degree burns to over 90% of her body.  The female victim succumbed to her injuries at the SVMC later that evening.

On 01/03/17 Chief Vickers contacted the Vermont State Police and requested an origin and cause investigation into the circumstances of this fire and fatality.  This investigation was conducted on 01/04/17 with two Detectives from the Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit, an Investigator from the Vermont Division of Fire Safety, a Detective from Bennington Police, and Chief Vickers.  Investigation showed that the fire started when a shirt the victim was wearing caught fire while cooking food on the kitchen stove.  The victim at the time may have been experiencing a separate medical event at that time that prevented or hampered her from extinguishing the fire to her clothing.

The cause of this fire was due to an accidental cause of clothing ignition from a cooking stove.  The victim passed away due to injuries associated with this incident.

 

DET./SGT. Thomas Williams

VERMONT STATE POLICE

FIRE/EXPLOSIONS INVESTIGATION UNIT

B Troop

RUTLAND BARRACKS

124 State Place

Rutland, VT. 05701-9332

Office:(802)773-9101

Fax: (802)775-6968