Officials Call House Fire Suspicious

This house on Pleasant Street burned on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (Courtesy Photo)

NEWPORT CITY — Fire officials investigating a fire that destroyed a house on Pleasant Street Saturday say it’s suspicious.

No injuries were reported in the blaze that engulfed the two-story structure at 236 Pleasant St. Firefighters responded at 12:45 a.m. The property is owned by Winston Jennison Investments LLC, of Johnson. No one had lived there for several years, according to a report by Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Michael LaCourse.

After the fire was extinguished and no obvious cause of the fire was known, Newport City Fire Chief John Harlamert 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 Monday morning and initiated an origin and cause investigation.

“The cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, it appears that there was direct human involvement,” noted Sgt. LeCourse. “This fire is considered suspicious.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Sgt.LaCourse at the Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881 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.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Tim Angell, of the Division of Fire Safety is also involved in the investigation.

Newport City Fire was assisted at the scene by Derby Line Fire Department.

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