Up to $5,000 reward offered for information leading to an arrest for arson in Brighton

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On April 24, 2020 Kenneth Messier called VSP-Derby to report that two of his log skidders had burned on Gideon Mills Rd. in Brighton. The skidders had self-extinguished and therefore the Brighton Fire Department had not been contacted. It appears that no one noticed the skidders while they were burning due to the remote area.

It was determined that a neighbor had notified the Brighton Police Department as well. Shortly thereafter, Brighton Police Chief Jeffrey Noyes and Det Sgt Michael LaCourse with the VT Dept of Public Safety Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit responded to the area of the skidders. It was determined that the skidders had been parked in along a Class IV portion of Gideon Mills Road since March 17th. Messier advised that they had stopped their logging operations at that time due to the spring thaw and soft ground. Messier advised that he responded to the area on April 24 to find that both log skidders had burned.

One skidder was identified as a 1996 John Deere 648G grapple skidder and is considered nearly a total loss. The other was identified as a 1982 John Deere 640 cable skidder which suffered moderate damage.

The cause of the fires remain under investigation, but are considered
suspicious. It is believed that the fires most likely occurred within the past
week.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Michael LaCourse at the Derby Barrack at 802-334-8881, Brighton Police Chief Jeffrey Noyes at 802-723-4322 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.

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