20211116-LOC-Putney Fire

Vermont State Police announced Monday that two teenagers had been arrested and charged with setting the fire that destroyed an abandoned residential trailer and adjacent vehicle at this property on Shag Bark Hill in Putney. That blaze was the first of six in the area that authorities have responded to over the past month, though the other five remain under investigation. 

Authorities have arrested two juveniles — including one from Brattleboro — in connection with one of six fires that have taken place in Windham County since early October, Vermont State Police announced Monday.

A 15-year-old and a 17-year-old have been charged with first-degree arson for their alleged involvement with a fire on Shag Bark Hill in Putney, Vt., according to a news release from police. The other teen is from Dummerston, Vt., the release notes.

Police say the two juveniles were hunting on the road when they entered a property at 19 Shag Bark Hill. It’s alleged that the pair lit multiple items on fire, including a boat, vehicle and mobile home. Both fled the scene before the fire department arrived, according to the release.

The state’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit (FEIU) — a division of the Department of Public Safety — is still working with fire departments in Putney, Vt., and Marlboro, Vt., to identify the cause of the other blazes in both areas.

A week after the Shag Bark Hill fire, an early-morning fire destroyed Rod’s Towing and Repair on Main Street in Putney, leaving more than a dozen people out of work and causing more than $500,000 in damage, police said.

Also overnight on Oct. 9, a chair left at the end of someone’s driveway in East Dummerston, Vt., was set on fire, police said.

Local authorities responded to a pair of fires in Marlboro, on Oct. 15 and 22, at a vacant building on Town Hill Road and an abandoned motel on Route 9, respectively, according to the release. Both blazes were the result of direct human involvement, it states.

A sixth fire destroyed an unoccupied camp on Stratton Mountain Road in Marlboro on Oct. 28.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the fires to contact the Vermont State Police’s Westminster barracks at 802-722-4600. Tips may also be given anonymously by texting keyword VTIPS to 274637 (CRIMES) or may be submitted online at www.vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

People with information may also contact the Vermont Arson Tip Award Program at 800-32-ARSON. A separate entity from Vermont State Police, that program is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.