On January 10, 2024, at approximately 9:34 AM the Orleans Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at a multi-family apartment building located at 46 High Street in Barton, VT. When fire crews arrived, they discovered heavy smoke emitting from a first-floor window. Defensive firefighting actions were taken, the fire was extinguished and contained to a single room in a downstairs apartment.
During Orleans Fire Chief EJ Rowell’s assessment of the scene, he learned crews had located a lone male occupant deceased inside the structure. Chief EJ Rowell contacted the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit and requested assistance with determining the origin and cause of the fire event.
Members of the Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit responded to the fire scene as well as a Detective from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The victim’s remains were removed and sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington where an autopsy will determine the manner and cause of death as well as verifying the victim’s identity.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and is believed to be accidental. The circumstances surrounding the fire do not appear to be the result of a criminal act.
As more information becomes available it will be released to the public.