Abandoned Building in St. Johnsbury Caught Fire over Weekend

bay st fireST. JOHSNBURY- An anbandoned building caught fire Saturday afternoon in St. Johnsbury at 659 Bay Street. The owner of the building was in the process of taking the building down.

 

Fire Chief Jon Bouffard says the first arriving company found heavy smoke coming from the building and that the fire was contained to the wooden side of the building. Crews deployed a hose line which helped put out most of it, but it didn't end there. Chief Bouffard says, "There's a section between the two buildings that there was some fire that we couldn't get to without digging around a little bit. We ended up using an excavator to pull down some of the walls in the front part of that building so we could get to that fire and effectively put it out." The Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit was called in for assistance with the origin and cause determination.

Bouffard is proud of his teams work saying because of the Kingdom of Colors Festival majority of the crew was at the station already. He also says the weather played a factor in how the crew took care of themselves while putting out the fire, "We had a very warm day to deal with and a lot of gear and a lot of really hot guys to deal with. They were warm and we were able to get them out of their gear and take rests as they needed to, a lot of water and Gatorade and that kind of thing."

After a preliminary investigation on Sunday, the case is being classified as arson, and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Senior Sergeant Thomas Williams at the Vermont State Police barracks in Rutland at 802-773-9101.

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