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August 10, 2018

Structure Fire/ St. Johnsbury Barracks/Suspicious




Case # 18A404284

INVESTIGATORS: Detective Sergeant Michael LaCourse-VSP,  Assistant State Fire Marshal Stan Baranowski - Division of Fire Safety.

STATION: St. Johnsbury
CONTACT# 802-748-3111

DATE/TIME: 08/10/18 @ 0245 hrs
INCIDENT LOCATION: 739 VT RTE 113, West Fairlee, VT
INCIDENT: Structure Fire - Suspicious

VICTIM: Randall Bishop(Homeowner)
AGE: 60


At approximately 0245 hours on 08/10/18, a fire was reported at an abandoned residence located at 739 VT RTE 113 in West Fairlee. West Fairlee Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and was assisted by Fairlee Fire Department, Thetford Fire Department, Bradford Fire Department, Corinth Fire Department, Strafford Fire Department, Vershire Fire Department, Lyme, NH Fire Department and Upper Valley Ambulance Service.  First responding units encountered the structure fully engulfed in fire. An effort was made to ensure that the fire did not spread to other nearby residences. The structure was so involved in fire, that it was nearly destroyed by the time the fire department arrived.

This structure has been uninhabited for many years and is considered a historic landmark within the village of West Fairlee. A mobile home residence which is also on this property was destroyed by fire in June, 2017. That fire is considered to be incendiary/suspicious and remains under investigation.

During his assessment of the fire, West Fairlee Fire Lt. Will Ordway contacted the VT Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosions Investigation Unit for assistance with an origin and cause determination. Investigators from the VT State Police and VT Division of Fire Safety(VT Fire and Explosions Investigation Unit) responded to the scene later that morning and began an investigation. 

The area of origin was not readily evident due to the degree of destruction and the fire remains under investigation. 

There were no injuries reported in the fire, however, the structure sustained extensive fire damage and is considered a total loss. Several unidentified male subjects have been in and around the property over the past several months and their purpose and intent is not known at this time.

Anyone that may have been traveling on VT RTE 113 around the time of the fire is asked to contact investigators.  The fire remains under investigation and is currently classified as "Undetermined/Suspicious". Anyone with information regarding this fire is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the VT State Police in St. Johnsbury  @ 802-748-3111.

The Vermont Arson Tip Award Program offers a monetary reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in an arson fire. Please call 1-800-32-ARSON(1-800-322-7766).


Detective Sergeant Michael LaCourse
Fire and Explosions Investigation Unit
Vermont State Police
Troop A - Derby Barracks
35 Crawford Road
Derby, VT
802-334-8881  (***Please note my email address has changed***)
  (***Please note my email address has changed***)