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November 8, 2018

News Release/Vermont State Police/Structure Fire/18B106730

VSP NEWS RELEASE    

Incident/Structure Fire

 

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY FIRE & EXPLOSION INVESTIGATION UNIT

VERMONT STATE POLICE – RUTLAND BARRACKS

 

Case # 18B106730

 

FIRE INVESTIGATORS: Detective Senior Sergeant Thomas Williams VSP, Det. Sgt. Todd Ambroz, Det. Sgt. Mike LaCourse VSP, & Assistant State Fire Marshal Tim Angell from Division of Fire Safety.

 

STATION: Rutland

CONTACT# 802-773-9101

 

DATE/TIME: 11/07/18 @ approx. 2145 hrs.

INCIDENT LOCATION: 50 Valley St., Springfield,  VT

INCIDENT: Structure Fire Investigation

 

VICTIM: Michael Hopkins

 

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:

At approximately 2145 hours on 11/07/18, the Springfield Fire Department was notified and responded to a reported structure fire at the above stated address. This structure was reported as an occupied residential building.   While en-route to this call, it was confirmed as a working structure fire.  The Springfield Fire Department responded and upgraded this response to a second alarm bringing in several mutual aid departments from the area.  Upon arrival the fire department was met with heavy fire on the west side of the structure.  Fire extended up the exterior and interior walls of this structure spreading to the 3rd floor and roof area.  Fire Departments were able to contain the fire to the structure of origin.  The building suffered heavy fire and water damage.   Damage is estimated to be in excess of $120,000.

  

During his assessment of the fire, the Springfield Fire Chief Russ Thompson contacted the VT Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit for assistance with the origin and cause determination.  Investigators from the VT State Police and VT Division of Fire Safety responded to the scene during the morning hours on 11/08/18 and began an investigation. It was determined the fire originated in the west side area of the basement.  This area was determined to be the area of origin for this fire.  The investigation showed that this fire originated in the area of a pellet stove exhaust pipe and the structures sill plate area.  Investigation showed that the fire spread from this area to the nearby combustible materials which were being used as insulation.  These materials lead to a rapid fire spread throughout the structure.   

 

This fire is not considered suspicious.  No injuries were reported at this fire.  The residents were not home at the time of this fire.  Numerous pets inside the residence survived the fire without injury.

 

This fire is currently classified as accidental with no suspicious circumstances. This fire was caused by heat from the vent pipe of the pellet stove in too close a proximity to nearby combustible materials.

 

Anyone with information regarding this fire is asked to contact the VT State Police barracks in Rutland at 802-773-9101, Detective Senior Sergeant Thomas Williams at 802-773-9101.

 

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 SR./SGT. THOMAS WILLIAMS

(CFEI, ProBoard CFI, NYS LVL II CFI)

VERMONT STATE POLICE

BUREAU OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS

FIRE & EXPLOSIONS INVESTIGATION UNIT

(RUTLAND BARRACKS EVIDENCE OFFICER)

B-Troop (West)

RUTLAND BARRACKS

124 State Place

Rutland, VT. 05701-9332

Office:(802)773-9101

Fax: (802)775-6968

thomas.williams@vermont.gov