The Vermont State Police disseminate press releases for significant criminal or public safety incidents and arrests, but it is not intended to document every public contact or response to a call-for-service. If you have a question regarding an incident or case, please contact your local state police barracks or the public information officer. Please note press releases are available on this blog for 6 months following their public release. Please contact the public information officer if you need access to one that is older.

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April 18, 2018

VSP Royalton/Fatal Fire Investigation Update

VSP Press Release





Vermont State Police Fire Investigation Unit


Case # 18B201560

Det. Sgt Todd Ambroz-VSP, Assistant State Fire Marshals Paul Cerutti and Joshua Maxham- Division of Fire Safety

Detective Trooper Christopher Blais - VSP Royalton Bureau of Criminal Investigations

Contact # 802-722-4600


Date/Time: April 14, 2018 at 11:33 PM

Incident Location: 2032 North Road, South Royalton, VT

Victim: Timothy Staples, age 58

Deceased Victim: Roberta F. Staples, age 60


Updated Press Release:  On April 14th, 2018 at 11:33 PM the South Royalton Fire Department responded to 2032 North Road in South Royalton for a structure fire.  The origin and cause investigation of the fire has been completed and additional details regarding the findings have been determined.  The home where the fire occurred was a 1976 single-wide Mobile Home manufactured by Greenbriar.  It had a cinder block foundation providing support to the steel frame.  One end of the home had an attached carport with open sides.  There was an addition built off the back of the home which was approximately 12’x16’ and constructed of wood framing with a metal roof.  The addition is where Roberta Staples slept and is also the area of origin where the fire started.  The cause of the fire is undetermined however, it is believed that accidental dropping of hot cigarette ashes or improper disposal of smoking materials contributed to the cause of the fire.  Based on the preliminary autopsy exam it has been determined Roberta Staples died to due to smoke inhalation.    


Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz

Vermont State Police, A-Troop West

Fire Investigation Unit

Williston, VT 05495

Office 802-878-7111

Fax 802-878-2742


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