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July 7, 2020

News Release/Structure Fire/Middletown Springs ****UPDATE****

rom: Wright, James
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2020 5:37 PM
To: DPS - VSP Media <DPS.VSPMedia@list.vermont.gov>
Cc: DPS - VSP Arson <DPS.VSPArson@vermont.gov>; French, Anthony <Anthony.French@vermont.gov>; Barber, Christopher <Christopher.Barber@vermont.gov>
Subject: News Release/Structure Fire/Middletown Springs

 

VSP NEWS RELEASE    ***UPDATE**** PLEASE SEE THE BELOW UPDATED INFORMATION INDICATED IN RED

 

Incident/ Fire Investigation – Middletown Springs, Vermont

 

STATE OF VERMONT

 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY FIRE & EXPLOSION INVESTIGATION UNIT

 

VERMONT STATE POLICE – Rutland Barracks

 

Vermont State Police Case # 20B401752

 

INCIDENT TYPE: Fire Investigation

 

FIRE INVESTIGATORS: Detective Sergeant James Wright and Detective Sergeant Todd Ambroz- Vermont State Police, Assistant State Fire Marshal Stan Baranowsi- Division of Fire Safety

 

CONTACT# 802-773-9101

 

DATE/TIME: 05/16/2020 Approximately 12:51 PM

 

INCIDENT LOCATION: 4000 Saw Mill Hill Road, Middletown Springs, Vermont

 

Homeowner/ Victim: Richard Lantman, Ira, Vermont

 

ACCUSED: Scott Saltis                                                                                    

AGE: 46

CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Poultney, VT

          

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:

 

On May 16, 2020 at approximately 1251 PM, the Middletown Springs Fire Department responded to 4000 Saw Mill Hill Road for a report of a structure fire at a remote camp.  Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a fully involved structure fire in the single-story camp. They noted most of the camp structure had already been consumed by the fire prior to their arrival. They then began an exterior attack of the fire however despite their efforts they were unable to save the structure from being completely consumed by the fire. 

 

Minor injuries were reported.

As part of his scene assessment, Middletown Springs Fire Chief Joe Castle contacted the VT Dept of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit for assistance in determining the origin and cause of this fire.

 

Members of the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit responded to the scene on Monday morning and initiated an origin and cause investigation.  It was determined the camp was believed to be unoccupied, however a male identified as Scott Saltis approached the firefighters from the woods behind the camp, claiming to have sustained minor injuries from the fire.  Saltis was transported to the Rutland Regional Medical Center and treated for his injuries.  It is unclear at this point if Mr. Saltis was staying in the camp or nearby in the woods, at the time of the fire.

 

This fire remains under investigation and is considered suspicious.

 

**UPDATE**

 

During the course of the investigation it was determined, Scott Saltis purposely and deliberately set the fire to the camp.  Saltis made numerous statements to fireman on scene that he set the fire because he had the “Virus” (Covid-19) and snipers had him in their crosshairs.  It was also learned that Saltis had been trespassing and living on the property and within the structure, despite being issued numerous trespass notices by the property owner and police.   At the completion of the investigation, the whereabouts of Saltis was unknown.  On June 15, 2020 an arrest warrant application was sent to the Rutland County Superior Court, Criminal Division, requesting a warrant be issued for the arrest for Scott Saltis for his involvement in the fire at 4000 Saw Mill Hill Road that completely destroyed the camp structure.

 

On July 6, 2020, Scott Saltis was located and taken into custody without incident for his involvement in the fire which destroyed the camp at 4000 Saw Mill Hill Road. Upon locating Saltis, it was also learned he currently had a warrant for his arrest for a previous charge of Unlawful Trespass.  Saltis was lodged at Marble Valley Correctional Center ordered to be held on $100 bail until his hearing on July 16, 2020 at 12:30pm at the Rutland County Superior Court, Criminal Division where he will answer to the charges of 1st Degree Arson, Unlawful Mischief and Unlawful Trespass. 

 

COURT ACTION: Y

COURT DATE:     July 16, 2020 @ 12:30 hours      

COURT: Rutland County Superior Court, Criminal Division

LODGED – LOCATION:    Marble Valley Correctional Center

BAIL: $100

MUG SHOT: Y

 

 

 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. James Wright at the Shaftsbury Barracks at 802-442-5421 or by contacting the Vermont Arson Tip Award

Program (VATAP) hotline at 1-800-32-ARSON (1-800-322-7766). The VATAP will pay up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

 

 

 

 

Det. Sergeant Jamie Wright

Vermont State Police

Fire and Explosion Unit

BCI Troop B – West

Shaftsbury Barracks

96 Airport Road

Shaftsbury, VT 05262

Tel: 802-442-5421

Fax: 802-442-3263

Email: james.wright@vermont.gov

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