On September 12, 2020 at approximately 12:45 am, Newport City Fire Department responded to 236 Pleasant Street in Newport City for a report of a fully engulfed structure fire. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a two story residential to be fully engulfed in fire. The house, owned by Winston Jennison Investments LLC, of Johnson, had been unoccupied for several years. Newport City Fire was assisted at the scene by Derby Line Fire Department.
As part of his scene assessment, 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 in the morning of September 14, 2020 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. This fire is considered suspicious.
There were no reported injuries, however the building is considered a total loss.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael 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.